Creating A Successful Condominium
Ever thought about what goes into designing a condominium? How does one address requirements of the municipality? What makes the most-efficient and cost-effective plan? We can shed some light on this subject.
Working with the Municipality
Working in collaboration with staff of the municipality is the first step towards success. The staff can help ease the process and provide guidance to maneuver through a few hoops often encountered towards approval. The planning staff in particular were helpful in this regard and genuinely passionate about building a better city with the design team. Working in this manner is far more appreciated by the developer whom benefits from a positive team and effective communications.
Designing The Building
When considering design, it is important to understand the needs of the buyer. Often the design team views those needs with a personal preference. Great views, natural light and amenities are examples of the many things homebuyers look for in the competitive condominium market. Careful consideration of these items can make a design stand out from the rest. Of course nothing is more important in real estate than the consideration of location and amenities offered in the neighbourhood. How dense is the area? Is it safe? Is there convenient access to shopping, schools and/or transit? Once the context is understood, it’s time to focus efforts on fundamentals such as servicing, life safety and details such as the optimization of the structural grid. For example, a 22ft span between structural concrete walls often is the most cost-effective approach capable of accommodating bachelor, 1 bed and/or 2 bed suite plans. Once that is covered, it’s on to the fun bit…designing the suites.
Interior Space and Suite Design
Ideally, you want to maximize as much space as possible. Suite design needs to address current trends in design, while being spacious and appealing to as many different tastes as possible. Think about what you have to work with – how may bedrooms? How many bathrooms? Is there a balcony or terrace? The most common suite types consist of a split bedroom/split bedroom arrangements, or specialty suites such as lofts and/or two storey options. It is best to work with the space to visualize every scenario, then make the best call.
ROD L. ROWBOTHAM, OAA, MRAIC
CEO, President, Principal Architect