Revving Up A Man Cave

There’s something uniquely special about sitting in the cockpit of a true sports car, engine revving, heart pounding, mind racing. As your right foot slams down on the gas pedal, your body is sucked into the bucket seats, as the pavement below becomes a blur. Instantly you become one with the leather and steel that surround you.

For others, this experience is best enjoyed when stepping inside a premium home theater. As a giant screen wraps the images around you, a 360o soundstage envelops you perfectly in every nuance of sound, as your senses sharpen to the point where the walls melt away and you are no longer a spectator, but a participant in the film world that plays around you.

For one fan of both cars and home entertainment, these passions have collided into an amazing man-cave that’s one part garage, one part home theater, and all parts amazing.

A car show year round

The AutoMotorPlexTM in Chanhassen, Minnesota, is a 40-acre private garage condominium complex that caters to true auto enthusiasts. Designed to look like an old European village, its goal is to provide a place where like-minded gear heads can come together to store, enjoy and show off their collections. But these spaces are much more than what most of our driveways lead up to. The AutoMotorPlex takes the idea of a garage to another level. With garages ranging from just under 500 square feet to up to 8,000 square feet, owners not only show off their passion for cars, but their other passions as well. Starting with a blank slate, owners can, and have, customized these “garages” to include wine cellars, golf simulators, sport courts, arcades and, in the case of this garage, one amazing home theater.

If you’re thinking, “How many people would really want this kind of experience, especially in Minnesota?” you might be surprised to learn that nearly every one of these 140 garages are sold, and there’s still room to expand. And with two other locations now open in Chicago and Kansas City, the desire is certainly growing.

A feast for your ears and your eyes

As the giant garage door opens, you’re instantly aware that this is anything but your typical garage. On most days, this space houses a few Ferraris and a Corvette, but today, the space was home to just one amazing Ferrari 430 Scuderia. It’s a stunning example of automotive design, power and ingenuity. But it doesn’t take long to notice something else: the sights and sounds of the home entertainment gear that surround you. Discreetly positioned to be out of sight but right in ear range, four Sonance Mariner 82 outdoor speakers play above you as music is pushed from the main rack in the theater to these speakers by a Sonos amp. The speakers are also connected to an impressive 70" class LED TV mounted on the wall. So now, while the owner enjoys his cars, he can also enjoy his favorite music, movies and sporting events as well.

And speaking of music and movies, it’s not until you walk up the staircase to the loft that you truly begin to appreciate the owner’s other passion. To create a space that could rival the garage below, Magnolia mounted a 90" class Sharp LED TV to the wall for theater-size viewing. Rivaling the sound of the roaring car engines below, a Marantz receiver was added to power MartinLogan Motion 15 speakers, a Motion 8 center channel, Motion 4 rears and an REL T9 subwoofer. To bring the owner’s collection of movies to life, a Kaleidescape Cinema One movie player was installed, plus Apple TV allows for online content. A URC MX1200 remote was programmed by Magnolia to give the owner quick and easy control of the entire system.

For ultimate viewing comfort, theater seats surround the system, while tables, a bar and a kitchen make up the periphery of the room, keeping the theater as the centerpiece of the space. And if the owner’s first two passions weren’t enough, you can’t help but be taken in by his third—big game hunting—as mounts of some very impressive animals from all across the globe adorn the walls.

Not your typical man cave

While System Designer Ben Steenson will admit this isn’t the biggest project he’s ever completed, one thing is certain: it’s in one of the more unique settings. But Magnolia is no stranger to unique requests, from turning spare bedrooms into incredible home theaters, to seamlessly incorporating the latest technology into historic homes. From bathrooms to play areas to attics to wine cellars, if you’ve got a space that needs the latest electronics, Magnolia can make it happen. So the only thing left to ask is, where’s next?

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