Projects | Home Theater/Media Room Project of the Year

Keith Yates Design Group

for Mediterranean Theater Complex

Please provide a brief description of your product or project and highlight how the product or elements of the project enhance consumers’ at-home experience.

With an enduring passion for films and concert videos and a social life that includes entertaining 150 guests several times a year, the clients had long dreamed of adding onto their home a dedicated theater complex, arranged to be accessible from the home’s interior as well as the existing pool, barbeque, tennis and entertainment complex. After getting an opportunity to experience a KYD Black Label theater complex in the area and discuss it privately with its owners, the clients asked Keith Yates and team to direct the architectural and technical design.

Inspired by their Northern California estate setting, Mediterranean tastes and annual trips to Italy, Keith sketched a roughly 850 square-foot, 18-seat theater that eschewed the hard-edged planes typically seen in today’s Director Screening Rooms, instead taking inspiration from centuries-old hilltop villas of Northern Italy, with their rhythmically arranged chestnut columns, arches, plinths and friezes. Importantly, the room’s massing was shaped to impart a sense of solidity and timelessness to “ground” the addition and pull together the existing Mediterranean theming in the rest of the home. The initial sketches also included a roughly 450 square-foot Lounge/Bar as the nexus linking the existing home, the theater and the outdoor attractions. 

How does this product or project reflect the changing landscape of the smart home industry?

The project added a new dimension — riveting movie and concert film experiences — to the lives of the clients and their guests, while architecturally clarifying and grounding the entire estate, and creating the hoped-for flow between the established outdoor attractions and the new ones beckoning from indoors. Driving the clients’ satisfaction were the theater’s key lights-off qualities:

  • Naturally balanced, airy acoustics, free of the usual defects of acoustically treated home theaters:
      • Reverberant/muddy in four lowest octaves.
      • Tonally and spatially erratic in three middle octaves.
      • Oppressively dead/claustrophobic sounding in three highest octaves.
  • Easy-to-follow movie dialog at all 18 seats, the result of computationally optimized acoustics and quieter-than-recording-studio background noise levels (<NC 5 with speakers, projector and HVAC on). The effect is especially striking when more than three actors are talking simultaneously in sonically dense, otherwise “mumbly” scenes.
  • Seamless, you-are-there surround effects and loud/soft contrasts, attributable to reference-level Meyer, Trinnov, Dolby Atmos, supported by detailed testing and tuning by qualified engineers. 
Why is winning a Mark of Excellence Award important to your company?

KYD's team of acousticians, architects and engineers employ a science-based process to execute every project. We are honored to be included in the award proceedings and share an example of our work to a larger audience. For our work to be recognized as best in class by the Mark of Excellence judges and be granted this award is a distinction our staff is grateful and proud to have achieved. 

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