CINEAK Strato

CINEAK: The Benchmark for Luxury Seating

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CINEAK: The Benchmark for Luxury Seating


A conversation with Alvin Hellemans, President and Founder, and Laurens Nuyens, Managing Director.


BY Douglas Weinstein


CINEAK Strato

PHOTO COURTESY OF CLIFFORD M. SCHOLZ ARCHITECTS (CMSA)

 

CINEAK is a family owned and operated company, founded in 1999 as a design-driven response to the demand for aesthetically pleasing and innovative entertainment and home theater chairs. Since its inception, CINEAK has revolutionized the luxury seating experience through its passion for excellence and materials, construction, technology, quality, service and attention to details. With a dealer network extending to over 50+ countries, the brand has quickly established itself as “the benchmark of luxury seating.”

I recently sat down with Alvin Hellemans, President and Founder, and Laurens Nuyens, Managing Director, to talk about private home cinemas, their collaboration with Kaleidescape, and creating luxury experiences in the home.

 

Doug: Talk about the aesthetic design of your products and how you incorporate performance technology.

Alvin: About 20 years ago we had a high-end client of ours in Europe who wanted something better in the way of seating for his home theater. At that time the chairs looked like overstuffed, bulky recliners and interior designers would run for the hills! [laughs] So we decided to come up with a product that was aesthetically pleasing and became focused on customized designs and working with architects and designers to deliver seating that was luxurious and fit into the various spaces that were commissioned.

Alvin Hellemans

ALVIN HELLEMANS
President and Founder

Laurens Nuyens

LAURENS NUYENS
Managing Director

 

Laurens: Over the years we’ve worked with designers and have gotten a feeling for what they like and don’t like. We are a family run business so we can work with designers who want to customize our basic offerings. What customers see on our website – the various lines of seating on offer – is just a starting point, because luxury home cinema is about a heightened experience and the décor plays as much a role as the filmscreen and sound system.

Alvin: As far as the technology, its really all about for example our patented mechanisms that, among other things, allows users to adjust the height of the back and headrest. Think about how automobile seats have evolved – you can adjust all sorts of things and save them as a preset per passenger/driver. You can ventilate the seats for heat or cooling, and there are color and trim choices and elegant leathers to create the perfect place to sit while you’re tooling around. So we thought, why not offer that same level of sophistication, while including technology specific to watching movies, like our adjustable headrest that is key in providing proper comfort when fully inclined. Our seats are also designed to minimize any blocking of sound, since you’re in a three dimension soundfield – we don’t want to block any of the surround sound in order to deliver the ultimate movie experience.

 
Summitridge bedroom patio
 

Laurens: I think the other thing that differentiates us in the marketplace is the general presentation of some of our designs – one incredibly popular option is a seating arrangement that looks like a sofa. It’s very welcoming. But when the movie starts, the sofa turns into a proper chair with back, neck and leg support.

Doug: How do your seats interact with Kaleidescape and the automation of movie presentations?

Alvin: Our chairs are tied into the control system – whether that’s Crestron, Savant, Control4, etc. – and so when Kaleidescape’s movie player sends a command that the movie is about to start, anything tied into the control system receives that command and does its own thing – the lights start to dim, the shades go down, the curtain opens, and the seats begin to recline into whatever you’ve preset. When the movie is over, the lights come up, the seats come forward and the entire process is part of an amazing cinematic experience.

Laurens: Kaleidescape has really raised the bar as far as private home cinema. They are the only ones who are doing what they do – delivering the very finest video quality and experience, along with elegantly automating the entire process of enjoying your theater, and we’ve adopted that same philosophy of offering only the finest in materials and technology in our own offerings. So when you think of a performance theater, Kaleidescape and CINEAK are must-have products of the highest order.

Doug: How do architects and designers get more information about the possibilities that exist when one of their clients mentions they’d like to explore a dedicated media room?

Alvin: Number one, it is important to educate people about all of the possibilities, the brands that represent the pinnacle of the home cinema experience. And that’s what we are trying to do – we’re trying to engage the design-build trades and let them know, “here are your options”. These collaborations focus on what the key aspects are in order to get a high-performance experience in your home cinema.

Laurens: The fact that our clients know they are going for the highest quality product means that the product will look exactly as the design specified and will integrate into the space both from a design and technology perspective. The same as Kaleidescape, offering the finest movie rendition and almost an unlimited library means you will enjoy every movie night with family and friends. I think our mutual expertise in bringing the finest products to market is defined with the end goal of adding comfort and engagement into every project we commission.

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