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"The Book-Cadillac glistens above Washington Boulevard, a towering symbol of Detroit’s latest attempts at a renaissance. For decades, it was the city’s most opulent hotel and - after nearly 25 years of abandonment and blight - has reclaimed its throne." Text courtesy of Historic Detroit; read the full article here.
In 2007, a $200 million renovation of Detroit's Book-Cadillac Hotel was completed. The project included both a restoration of the historic building and the development of dedicated residential spaces. A decade later, in 2017, a long-time Paragon Sight & Sound client purchased one of the residences and called asking for our help blending modern technology with the elegance of the original space.
The client was very specific about design. Everything was to complement the furniture and blend with the space. Let’s begin with the window treatments. The residence has spectacular views of the Detroit River and Canada on the opposite side, yet the sun-exposure was significant. We selected Lutron battery-powered Triathlon automated roller shades using a white sheer fabric. This shade provides relief from the sun on the southern and western exposures. When rolled-up, the shades disappear into the window frame without limiting the impact of the architectural elements such as window molding and columns.
Marble was used extensively in the kitchen and over the fireplace in the gathering room. The client wanted a very thin TV mounted over the fireplace directly on the marble, so we could not use a conventional mounting system. We chose the LG QLED 77W7P because of its great visual performance, extremely thin depth (less than ¼” thick), and unique surface mounting options. The TV was mounted directly to the marble, and the TV control panel was hidden from sight. Ceiling speakers above the main TV, plus additional speakers strategically placed throughout the open floor-plan, delivered a rich audio backdrop to the expansive views of the cityscape.
The unique space and lighting design necessitated a lighting system with programming flexibility. Programmed lighting and shade settings in the Lutron Radio Ra2 system automatically emphasize the elegance of the home, from morning breakfasts through late-evening entertaining. Energy-efficient lighting and shading was designed to maximize natural light and minimize demands on the HVAC system.
Audio, video, shade, and lighting control is available via strategically placed iPads, Savant handheld remote controls, and Lutron wall-mounted keypads. These visible controls are supported by an enterprise-grade LAN system that delivers excellent connectivity everywhere on the property.
Our automation go-to system for this project was Savant. The client required robust personalized control of numerous devices for multiple users with custom levels of security, as well as remote access to key systems and streaming services. In fact, remote access was a necessity as the client wanted visibility on the property even when not at home. We created several “scenes” that reflect the client’s lifestyle and only require a single command.
This project illustrates how targeted use of automation can deliver a near-perfect blend of convenience and elegance that enhances the sophistication of living in one of Detroit’s architectural treasures.
To see pictures of this install, you can check-out our Paragon Smart portfolio.