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Instant makeover


statement-making pieces


Callum Keith Rennie

Has the Coolest Loft in Vancouver DESIGN INSPIRATION

Condo Kitchens with Personality

INSIDER’S GUIDE Vancouver Hot Spots and Hidden Gems


Expert Advice for a Prettier Patio

French Art de Vivre

Mah Jong. Modular sofa system upholstered in Rockford. Rug, design for Roche Bobois. Mah Jong. Cocktail tables, design Roche Bobois Studio. Doc. Pedestal table, design Fred Rieffel.

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spring/summer 2016 | volume 11 | number 1

14 Editor’s Note


Craving a fresh start this spring.

16 Essentials

Statement-making sofas, bold and beautiful pendant lights and gorgeous geometric wallpaper—these pieces will update your space in a snap.

22 Get the Look

Three smart looks for a cool, compact kitchen from three design pros.

28 Expert Advice

Landscape designer Amelia Sullivan shares her tips for creating the patio oasis of your dreams.

32 24 Hours


A day in the life of architect Marianne Amodio doubles as an itinerary for the perfect Vancouver day.

featured condos

42 Treasure Hunter


A modern glass apartment on the waterfront becomes a showcase for a globetrotter’s keepsakes. by julia dilworth

56 At Last

clockwise from top left: tracey ayton ; janis nicolay; luis valdizon

After a decade of renovations, this Main Street loft finally feels like home. by lucy lau


64 Calm, Cool,


A serene West End apartment plays host to a celebration of eclectic tastes. by stacey m c lachlan

72 The Lived-In Look How to give actor Callum Keith Rennie’s loft a makeover—without it looking like a makeover. by michael harris

On the Cover Actor Callum Keith Rennie at home in his Vancouver loft.

photograph by sarah murray

82 Elsewhere

A mixed-use Koolhaus-designed tower in Rotterdam that might just spark some international envy.

western living condo Spring/Summer 2016 13

editor Stacey McLachlan art director Naomi MacDougall assistant art director Jim Keller editorial interns Ellen Koehler, Sally Michael White art intern Ying Chang Email: gm & publisher Tom Gierasimczuk editor-in-chief, western living Anicka Quin art director, western living Paul Roelofs marketing & events manager Dale McCarthy event coordinator Laura Lilley marketing associate Kaitlyn Lush administrative assistant Kaitlyn Gendemann production manager Lee Tidsbury graphic designer Swin Chai Phone: 604-877-7732

advertising sales

There’s just something about spring that inspires change. I tend to wake up March 21 with big plans in mind. “Let’s paint the bedroom!” I’ll say cheerily. “Which of these shades of white do you like best? Now, where did we put that ladder?” I chirp, before my partner reminds me it’s 5 a.m. and that this might be able to wait. It’s something a little biological, I think, the drive for renewal this time of year. Chicks hatch and flowers blossom as Vancouverites creep real-estate websites and get dramatic haircuts. Ah, nature. But even if you’re not actually ready for a drastic shakeup— choosing a new duvet cover can be a big commitment—the process of planning can be just as invigorating. It’s why I love putting together the magazine with our talented art director, Naomi MacDougall (and why I’m so devastated this is her last issue with us): it’s a chance to fantasize about a fresh start. While a renovation may not be in the cards for my own space, experiencing a home makeover vicariously by poring over the gorgeous condos in this issue satisfies that itch. A light-filled jewel box of a home in Coal Harbour (page 42), an eclectic loft specifically designed to look “un-designed” (page 72), a sleek and sophisticated Main Street bachelor pad (page 56), a serene West End suite infused with just the right amount of opulence (page 64)—they’re all thoughtfully designed spaces that spark some spring fancy. (And if you’re not ready to be dreaming about a whole-haul new look, the transformative statement pieces we’re showcasing starting on page 16 do the same trick on a smaller scale.) My recommendation: grab a blanket, your sunglasses and your copy of WL Condo and hit the park. A little sunshine is the perfect accompaniment to some spring dreaming.

Stacey McLachlan, Editor


western living condo Spring/Summer 2016

president Jacky Hill director, national sales & channel management, lifestyle Nadine Starr national sales manager, national sales & channel management, lifestyle Ian Lederer national sales director Moe Lalani director of content Susan Legge

head office 500–401 The West Mall Etobicoke, Ontario M9C 5J5 Phone: 855-626-4200 Fax: 416-789-9705

yellow pages digital & media solutions ltd. vice-president & chief publishing officer Caroline Andrews

western living condo is published twice a year by Yellow Pages Homes Ltd. Copyright 2015. Printed in Canada by TC • Transcontinental, LGM-Coronet, 737 Moray St., Winnipeg, Man. R3J 3S9. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Circulation Dept., Ste. 560, 2608 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. V6H 3V3. Distributed free in areas of Vancouver. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. All reproduction requests must be made to COPIBEC (paper reproductions), 800-717-2022, or CEDROM-SNi (electronic reproductions), 800-563-5665. The publisher cannot be responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. This publication is indexed in the Canadian Magazine Index and the Canadian Periodical Index, and is available online in the Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database. ISSN 1920-0668 (British Columbia edition). Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #400068973. privacy policy On occasion, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened organizations whose product or service might interest you. If you prefer that we not share your name and address (postal and/or email), you can easily remove your name from our mailing lists by reaching us at any of the listed contact points. You can review our complete Privacy Policy at

photo: andy fang; hair and makeup: melanie neufield; shot at livingspace in vancouver.


vancouver office advertising sales director Edwin Rizarri account managers Corinne Gillespie, Gabriella Sepulveda, Carly Tsering, Nicole Lilly (on leave) sales coordinator Karina Platon Suite 560, 2608 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. V6H 3V3 Phone: 604-877-7732 Advertising email:

5-STAR SUMMER OUTDOOR COLLECTION 2016 | 200+ new items

1277 ROBSON ST. | 604.669.9797 | CB2.CA

ESSENTIALS | Pendant Lights

Swell Bells

design tip You can't live by pendant lighting alone. A well-lit space always features layers of task lights and ambient lighting, too.

These bright lighting designs take the simple bell shape to the next level.


➊ Misty Minimalism The blown-glass Caiigo lamp ($1,124) from Foscarini—aptly named after the Venetian word for fog—proves that simple is beautiful.

➋ Peak Appeal Bring the majesty of the slopes inside your home with the award-winning Axo Mountain View pendant lamp (from $5,150).

➌ Cherry on Top The LZF Domo lamp (from $1,370), made from bent poplar wood, looks beautiful alone, but we’re dreaming of a trio dangling above a kitchen island.

➍ Curiously Bright

Channel Alice in Wonderland with Seed Design’s quirky copper Dodo lamp ($339), the perfect addition to any cozy reading nook.

➏ Glow on The teardrop-shaped Skye pendant ($518) from Nuevo Living looks like it’s draped in fabric, but the durable moulded acrylic structure will stand up brilliantly in high-traffic areas.

➎ Hang Tough The staggered lengths of red cord on these eco-concrete Fancy Ceiling pendants ($450) by Zuo Modern will add a dynamic, industrial feel to any space.


western living condo Spring/Summer 2016



ESSENTIALS | Wallpaper

Design tip There are plenty of places to use wallpaper besides a statement wall: try papering your ceiling or inside a closet.

Geometry Show

These geometric wallpaper patterns show how to do a feature wall right. WRITER SALLY MICHAEL WHITE

➊ Psychedelic Spectrum The kaleidoscope rainbow of Cole and Son’s Prism pattern ($187 per roll) is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a surefire way to add intrigue to an accent wall.

➋ Standout Performance Make any area a standout—from the entry hall to the space above your desk—with the sculptural structure of PaperForms' threedimensional Cube wall tiles ($72 for 12 tiles).

➌ Hatch a Plan The cross-hatched pattern of this Sandberg Kungsholm design ($150 per roll) is subtle enough to fill an entire room, yet bold enough to add a graphic pop to smaller areas like the back of an open-shelving wall.

➍ Open Framework The delicate triangular grid of this Otto design ($138 per roll) was inspired by the routes traced by ocean liners travelling from the designer’s home country of Sweden to New York.

➏ Jazz Age Bring the swagger of the Roaring Twenties home with this art deco textile design from Rollout ($15 per square foot), best paired with a stiff martini.

➎ Desert Design The stark boldness of Ryan Tomkinson’s black-and-white Mojave pattern ($15 per square foot) is printed on commercial-grade vinyl, which is suitable for even the hardestworking spaces.

⑥ 18 Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

D E D O N . G L O S T E R . J AN U S E T C I E . T U U C I . C A N E - L I N E . B R OW N J O R D AN . K I NGSL E Y BAT E

VANCOUVER HAS A NEW HOME FOR OUTDOOR FURNITURE. Our new Showroom is now open at 3rd and Fir.

Outdoor Furniture Showroom: 1880 Fir Street Indoor Furniture Showroom: 1855 Fir Street Armoury District Vancouver 604.736.8822 Monday - Saturday 10 -5:30 pm


Design tip Not ready to commit to a dramatic sofa? Try investing in a statement armchair or boldly patterned loveseat instead.

Statement Sofas

Your sofa is the centrepiece of the living room—and these designs love the limelight. WRITER ELLEN KOEHLER

➊ Modern Classic The Noguchi sofa and ottoman (from $2,244) from Rove Concepts are inspired by Noguchi’s original 1946 design, but the sleek shape— available in classic bouclé wool or premium cashmere—still looks fresh today.

② ③

➋ Mid-Century Made Modern This G. Romano Oslo sofa (from $1,895) takes its inspiration from mid-century modern designs, while a compact size makes it just right for a modern condo.

➌ Say Uncle! The Onkel sofa (from $4,500) from Normann Copenhagen mashes up a classic chesterfield shape with contemporary lines and pulls the whole look together with an elegant purple fabric fi nish.

➍ Shape Shift Just like a vintage off-the-shoulder dress, the sleek asymmetrical look of the Poliform Mad chaise longue ($5,275) is a knockout.

➏ Rock ’n’ Roll Designed by Giorgio Soressi, the Erba Rockouture sofa (from $21,312) adds a bit of rock to your space—but the sturdy minimalist frame will ensure it doesn’t roll away.

➎ Fast Curves Roche Bobois’s curved Digital three-seat sofa (from $8,763) is perfect for social gatherings or curling up for comfort—the unusual rounded shape brings everybody close together.


western living condo Spring/Summer 2016

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EXPERT ADV ICE | Get the Look


Kitchen Cool

West Coast Scandinavian An exercise in minimalism, this white-on-white kitchen enhances space and natural lighting with every detail. Beneath the surface, designer Gaile Guevara installed shelving organizers that “Tetris” together the owners’ possessions so there’s a place for everything.

Three designers take on three compact kitchens to create three looks we love. Layer your lighting. Arrange your lighting so that you can combine different light sources to suit your activity and mood. The kitchen’s task lighting provides a focused work area, the LED pendant lamps are dimmable and the undercabinet lighting provides a soft late-night glow.

Don’t waste an inch. A simple look like this one demands zero clutter. Install cabinet storage that helps you compartmentalize every single kitchen possession. If you haven’t used an item in six months, consider tossing it.

janis nicolay

Make it monochrome. In a small home, decor in contrasting colours can encroach on the room. Instead, pick one tone that lets cabinetry and countertops blend into, rather than stand out from, the surroundings. Choose subtle cabinet hardware, like fi nger or integrated pulls.


western living condo Spring/Summer 2016

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EXPERT ADV ICE | Get the Look

Luxury Industrial

Warm up with a neutral colour palette. Choose comforting browns, taupe greys and warm whites. The kitchen’s natural materials play starring roles in the colour scheme.

The globe-trotting owners of this home wanted to showcase their travel finds, so designer Ami McKay created an inviting, contemporary backdrop for their treasures by layering antiques, natural materials and polished finishes.

Texturize your space. The kitchen’s rich textures add depth, giving the house an earthy feel. The designer mixed wood with smooth lacquered cabinets, and the natural colour variations in the marble and travertine tiles provide visual texture.

Tell stories with your decor. This home is full of the owners’ unique pieces—an antique zebra rug, a deep sea diving mask. The kitchen design echoes that sense of history in its antique industrial stools and lighting, and in the salvaged-beam island.


western living condo Spring/Summer 2016

EXPERT ADV ICE | Get the Look

No-Kitsch Vintage The owner of this laneway house has vibrant style and loved this vintage-look turquoise fridge. It takes centre stage in this kitchen, designed by Joanna Vagelatos for The Cross Decor and Design, accented by pinks and reds against a minimal background.

Even in an eclectic space, stick to simple. Classic fi nishes are timeless. A funky backsplash tile might be tempting, but a more neutral look will be easier to adapt as your style evolves.

Help your designer get to know you. Particularly when you’ve got colourful taste, give your designer as much information as you can: show them pictures, places and possessions you treasure. Your personality will shine through in the end product.

janis nicolay

Lose the upper cabinets. A strategic cabinet-ectomy can do wonders to open up a small kitchen. If you still need the storage space, make the shelving open or use glass cabinet doors.


western living condo Spring/Summer 2016

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Tango Dual Reclining Sofa/Queen Wall Bed Picnic Bellagio Coffee/Work Table | Graphic Rug

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EXPERT ADV ICE | Garden Guru


Blooming Balconies

Beautify your patio with a little help from Mother Nature.

It’s the end of the day—what Amelia Sullivan calls the “sundowner cocktail hour”—and this Battersby Howat landscape designer is on her balcony, watering the garden with a yellow enamelled kettle that used to belong to her mother. “My husband and I picked this apartment based on what time of day the sun would be on the balcony,” she explains. That criterion might seem strange to some, but it makes perfect sense for Sullivan. She still remembers planting lettuce and beans as a child and running along a pathway her mother interplanted with mint (“our feet would always smell wonderful”). For her, gardens mean home and family—so it’s no wonder that the balcony was a deciding factor in choosing her West End apartment. Starting your own personal Eden? Get her best advice below.

Check out our list of fave balcony containers at

Pro Tips

from amelia sullivan Designer, Battersby Howat

Even experts can mistake how much sun exposure their balcony gets. Sullivan uses a sensor, available at Lee Valley Tools, to make sure she has an accurate read: “I was so sure I had enough sun on my balcony, but it turns out I have part shade to full shade!”

➋ Make it Rain If you have an upstairs neighbour, your plants won’t get much rainfall—and combined with the wind, this makes for an extremely dry microclimate. “That’s everyone’s downfall with a balcony garden,”

Sullivan says. “Sometimes I water my plants twice a day.” Install an automated irrigation system to make life a little easier, and pick planters with false bottoms to catch any runoff.

➌ Think Tough Look for plants with fuzzy, waxy or needle-like leaves—they can stand up to more intense weather conditions, like high winds, heat or (more likely in Vancouver) a rainstorm. “Lavender is pretty foolproof, but avoid maples,” Sullivan suggests. “They end up looking like half-baked Charlie Brown trees.”

28 western living condo Spring/Summer 2016

➍ Go Big

➎ Open Up

According to Sullivan, “bolder strokes are better.” Opt for two or three trough-style planters rather than many little pots. It’s a move that will help visually anchor the space, and having more dirt will give your plants a better chance at success.

If you’re planning to divide your balcony, “keep things as perforated as possible—think lattices or screens instead of solid walls,” Sullivan says. Poor air circulation breeds pests and exacerbates already harsh weather conditions.

➏ Get the Dirt

Position planters over columns or load-bearing walls. A cubic foot of wet soil, Sullivan explains, can weigh a lot more than you might expect—close to 100 pounds. Add a concrete planter, and things start to get heavy.

Choose denser soils over peat-based ones: the greater weight will anchor planters in high winds. And, pretty as they are, forget shiny pebbles—Sullivan says they’ll only attract crows.

➐ Weigh In

tracey ayton

➊ Measure Sunlight

Š2016 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated.

Your home is a sanctuary and should be as beautiful as you can imagine. Let California Closets design a custom system just for you and the way you live, and help make your dream home a reality with our exclusive materials and exceptional designs. Visit our showroom or call us today to arrange your complimentary design consultation.


2421 Granville Street





Envious of the beautiful kitchens you see on television design shows?

You don’t have to be on screen to have a beautiful kitchen. You just need to know where the pros go. And why. We caught up with Merit Kitchens’ Julie Johnstone to chat pedigree, quality and everyone’s favourite local design show (and how Merit Kitchens shines bright in every episode). What makes Merit Kitchens unique?

Julie Johnstone Design Consultant, Merit Kitchens

It’s the people - dedicated craftspeople, technical specialists and customer service professionals. Many have been with Merit for over 20 years. Their knowledge and expertise are why we’ve been designing and building beautiful cabinetry for over 40 years.

Why do clients love your cabinets so much? I think it’s because we truly believe that cabinets can transform a house into a home. We start with only the best raw materials and European hardware. And by using the delicate touch of hand-finishing, we reveal the wood’s beauty and natural grain.

Why has Merit Kitchen been so successful? I’d say it’s because our cabinets combine beauty with intelligent design. We stay on top of current trends so customers can choose from the latest storage innovations, door styles, finishes, and decorative elements. In short, we honour history and tradition while embracing modern trends and technological advances to deliver better cabinets for the kitchen, bathroom and throughout the home.

Do you have your own questions about kitchen or bathroom cabinets? Merit Kitchens may just have the answer. Visit us online to learn more about cabinetry, and Julie’s response to some frequently asked questions.

Beauty on the inside. And out. Modern, contemporary designs and quality European craftsmanship. Merit Kitchens—an experience for life. Canadian-made, German-engineered.


Toll Free: 1-800-663-2992

Created by the Western Living advertising department in partnership with Merit Kitchens


EXPERT ADV ICE | 24 Hours in Vancouver


A Beautiful Life For Marianne Amodio, art and architecture blend seamlessly into work and life.

Marianne Amodio’s Perfect Day This Designer of the Year winner is all about appreciating the best art (and Mexican food) Vancouver has to offer.

Starting a business from your living room in the middle of an economic slump might not have been the obvious path, but Marianne Amodio isn’t one to go for the obvious. “I didn’t have anything to lose—it was the perfect time to take a risk like that,” she laughs. Amodio’s Chinatown office is testament to her functional yet warm style: large windows allow the light to bounce off polished concrete floors just so, and a magnetic wall is peppered with drawings of her ongoing projects pinned alongside Pantone’s latest colour palette. From her work on New Westminster’s River Market to the orange pops of colour on her residential project in Kitsilano, Amodio is slowly but surely putting her stamp across the Lower Mainland’s streets.

charleson park, 8:30 a.m.

24 Hours in Vancouver with Marianne Amodio 8:00 a.m. We usually walk from our townhouse in Fairview over the Laurel Street land bridge, which is one of our favourite walks. My 11-year-old son, Mica, goes to school in False Creek, so my husband, Harley, and I walk that route most mornings. It starts on the corner of West 7th Avenue and crosses over 6th Avenue.

32 Western Living Condo Fall/Winter 2015

I think people who know that bridge know it really well, and the people who don’t know it are always pleasantly surprised to find it. We love that you don’t really know when you’re on it—it’s a really beautiful example of landscape integration. 8:30 a.m. Next up would be Charleson Park, which

I think is a such a beautiful snippet of the forest that we feel so lucky to have so close to our house. You can find a really lovely kind of moment in there. We usually take our puggle, Cosmo, with us, and do a loop by the waterfall, ’round the pond and over by the colourful jelly beans by sculptor Cosimo Cavallaro.

jj bean coffee & lee’s donuts, 9:00 a.m.

walrus, 11:00 a.m.

el camino’s, 1:00 P.m.

gutter credit

“I find art really inspires the work I do—those moments of delight, or a moment of awe, or even a moment of ‘what is that?’”

And though she loves and respects Vancouver’s heritage scene—she’s done work in Strathcona—you won’t see her replicating historical buildings any time soon. “I think that’s the wrong approach for respecting our history; we should be more focused on retaining it than trying to recreate it,” says Amodio. “We really try to find a balance between preservation, acknowledgement of history and modern construction techniques.” It’s a delicate mix and one that incorporates plenty of artistic flair, too. “I find art really inspires the work I do—those moments of delight, or a moment of awe, or even a moment of ‘what is that?’” she explains. You’ll find those moments manifesting themselves in her work: in colour, in a wild Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 33

EXPERT ADV ICE | 24 Hours in Vancouver

24 Hours in Vancouver with Marianne Amodio 9:00 a.m. My son, Mica, takes a clay sculpture class at Arts Umbrella on Saturday mornings, so we drop him there and head over to the market, grabbing a coffee at JJ Bean, some deli from Oyama or a donut from Lee’s until he’s finished.

monte clark gallery, 2:00 p.m.

marianne’s studio, 4:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. At this point, we like to head to South Cambie and Main Street for some shopping, stopping by Walrus—an awesome accessories store on Cambie—or Vancouver Special, Collage Collage and the Flower Factory. 1:00 p.m. El Camino’s on Main feels like a pretty authentic lunch in a comfortable setting. I think it’s delicious food, really good value and, of course, a well-designed space designed by David Nicolay. Mica likes the Jarritos, whereas Harley and I go for the carne asado or pescado tacos. They do really good popcorn as well! 2:00 p.m. After lunch, we like to gallery hop around the area where the new Emily Carr is being built. The Catriona Jeffries Gallery had an amazing Brian Jungen exhibit this past winter, and we really like the Monte Clark Gallery, too. I find art really inspires the work I do—I always hope that my work touches upon a bit of art. 3:30 p.m. After the galleries, we love to stop by Beta5 chocolates, a local gem that keeps picking up international awards. We usually pick and choose the little ones because we want to try as many different kinds as possible.

4:00 p.m. In the afternoon, I usually split off from the family for a bit and pop into the office. Sometimes I’ll bring Mica with me and he’ll sit and play Minecraft. We were trying to get him to build some of our projects in Minecraft; he actually also just started 3D modelling the other night. 6:00 p.m. We collaborated with local interior designer Mark George on Angus An’s latest restaurant, Fat Mao, and now we really enjoy the noodles there. We’ll usually go for a Chinatown salad or braised duck noodles with soft-boiled egg. 8:00 p.m. After dinner, we would probably drop Mica off with a friend while Harley and I grab a drink at the Keefer Bar. We really enjoy the cocktail list there. I think there’s something cool about the design of that place—it kind of forces you to be intimate because of the layout. The menu is so diverse that we like to try new things each time we go. The bartenders there are all such pros, especially with the fusion of Asian influence and cocktail cuisine mixed in there. I also really like the Diamond, which is also located in the neighbourhood, especially in the summer when you are lucky enough to get a seat at the window—those windows actually open, you know—and you can look down at the square. It’s such a rare moment because you’re just looking down at Gastown; it’s such a cool, rare viewpoint of this city.

fat mao noodles, 6:00 p.m.

tile mosaic on a fireplace, or in sculptural spaces that play with light and shadow. Pushing boundaries and keeping clients happy are sometimes mutually exclusive tasks, but she manages to walk the line between the two well—a particularly important skill, as homeowners are increasingly working with smaller floor plans. But this Edmonton native believes Vancouver’s ever-reducing square footage has the silver lining of opportunity for architects and designers, one that allows her to combine razor-sharp precision (just how many layers of drywall does it take to achieve a one-hour fire rating?) with a passion for artistic flair. “A lot of the work we do is nuts and bolts: it’s about how high something can be or how wide it needs to be. You can get caught up in the technical side,” explains Amodio. “But for me, the artistic side of architecture is what I first fell in love with—the opportunity to create spaces that people love to be in.” Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 35




ontemporary design is known for being sleek, elegant and distinct—but it isn’t always known for luxury or function. Today’s kitchen design demands each of these things, incorporating stylish design with functional luxury to make every minute in the space a pleasure. For the truly discerning homeowner, there is the Sync kitchen faucet from Dornbracht. The Sync kitchen faucet embodies everything you want in a modern kitchen. It has a sleek, streamlined design without the bulky spray head found on many pull-down faucets. Instead, the heat-insulated spout continues to

the pull-down spray head where a light touch alters the spray strength from the standard laminar to a rinsing jet. As a design variant, Sync is also available with a more rounded spout. The dynamic, forward facing design of the series is retained in this version as well. The height of the faucet and its 360-degree swivel accommodate even the tallest pots and the toughest kitchen sink uses, while an ergonomic opening at the handle and a sensitive ceramic disc cartridge allow you to adjust the water temperature quickly and easily every time. With a single-hole faucet drilling and so many different positions for the

Created by the Western Living advertising department in partnership with Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre

faucet itself, the Sync fits into any placement— including corners, D-bowls, prep sinks, or professional-grade triple sinks. When you’re ready to get the best of style and function for your kitchen, stop into any Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre location. Their expert staff have been helping people find the right product—like the Dornbracht Sync— for their homes for more than 80 years. Stop in today to get started and find new ways to help bring your kitchen design to new heights of possibility.

Sync Kitchen Faucet Dornbracht’s new kitchen faucet, Sync, combines modern, luxurious design with functionality. Sync features two unique spray modes and a pull-down spout specially designed to fit the faucet’s slender design. Thanks to its tall spout, wide projection, and ability to swivel 360°, Sync offers limitless freedom of movement at the kitchen sink.

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RENOVATION maison d’etre Founder Rob Capar invites us inside his own Vancouver condo



aving led countless renovation projects over the years, maison d’etre Founder Rob Capar finally put the shoe on the other foot and re-designed his own Vancouver condo last year. Capar shares more about the process, his own design decisions and—of course—the stunning results.

1. What inspired you to renovate your Vancouver condo?

“I purposely bought a well worn unit so that I could renovate. I loved the physical space—the height gave it a much bigger feel—but I didn’t mind ripping everything out. It gave me a clean slate.”

2. Where did the team start and how did the renovation progress?

“We started my renovation just like anyone else’s: by determining the objective. I had a lot of artwork and furniture that I wanted to fit in, so we took measurements and developed a functional floor plan.”

4. What other changes have significantly affected the condo’s livability?

“As with any condo, storage space is a premium. We built over-height cabinets in the kitchen—with storage space for a stool—so that all of my luggage, camping gear, extra dishes, and guest bedding can be tucked away in the upper cupboards. We also reconfigured the bedroom closet, ultimately gaining square footage. My personal focus was to design lighting that highlighted my art collection and made the space feel bigger, brighter, more open.”

5. What is your favourite result of the renovation?

“When we design for other people we want to create a space that works for their lifestyle and makes them happy. The most satisfying outcome is when customers tell us that they love coming home every day—and that’s exactly how I feel. I feel so comfortable in my space.”

3. What was the biggest change to your condo?

“The original loft really broke up the space. By getting rid of it and expanding the kitchen there is now ample counter space for at least three people to work. It’s perfect for entertaining and has become the focal point of the home.” Created by the Western Living advertising department in partnership with maison d’etre design-build inc.

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Treasure Hunter A modern glass apartment on the waterfront becomes a showcase for a globetrotter’s keepsakes. What do you do when a home’s biggest feature is also its biggest limitation? In one modern two-bed, two-bath condo in English Bay, a 360-degree view proved to be both a blessing and a curse. “For an art lover, this was a huge challenge in terms of space,” explains The Cross Design’s Erin Chow. She and fellow designer Megan Baker had to find ways to showcase and accessibly store the globe-trotting homeowner’s amassed collection of artwork and antiques—in a home with floor-to-ceiling windows in every room but the powder room. (There’s even a window in the dressing room.) Additionally, a large wall of glass stretches end to end in the expansive living area, a room designed to have a long and narrow footprint to take full advantage of the ocean view. The slender profile also posed a challenge for the designers: “We knew right away that a conventional seating area was not going to work here,” says Chow. 42 Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

Carefully Curated Chow says nothing in this space stayed “just because.” The homeowner had to carefully decide what pieces she would want to look at and love every day.” The takeaway? Edit what you have so you love all of it.

Stone Cold Style The Inax Sentousai fireplace stone is a rugged material that balances out more feminine elements, like a Dandelion Orb lamp and tufted Josephine sofa.

“Everything we did here was inspired by our client, her whimsical point of view and her sense of adventure,” says designer Megan Baker.

In place of the standard town hall gathering of chairs and sofas around a television, the pair created a menagerie of small, uniquely tailored seating areas throughout the space. From the modern tête-à-tête of chaise longues to the bold bluebird sofa and the French antique screen that greets visitors on the way in, this great room of reading nooks played perfectly into the homeowner’s desire for an art gallery-like oasis where she could sit and appreciate her curios. “We had some great discussions about the way a museum or gallery would feel—full of stories, memories

and treasures that can be individually appreciated,” says Baker. The duo meticulously edited the homeowner’s collection, grouping like items together to minimize distraction and make each piece stand out on its own. A 30-foot hallway library houses favourite novels and rare books, and a cherished cake-plate collection lives on the shelves of the kitchen. Small touches of the unique can be spotted everywhere—even a wrought-iron dining table surprises with its creeping tree-root base. The goal was to make sure the space was packed with personality, and Chow says the woman of the house

Break It Up A lattice panel is a smart, ornamental way to divvy up an open space (top left). A custom-upholstered flower-print chair and Ghost chair make for a beautifully mismatched pair around a quirky tree-branch table (top right).

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 45

LI V ING | Treasure Hunter

Treasure Trove In this space, every collection was allowed a bit of breathing room, just like artwork in a gallery. Delicate glass vases and a quartz block (above left) shine in the natural light, and a playful rabbit bust is accompanied by a simple tulip vase (bottom right).


Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

wanted “beautiful colour, pattern and texture to enjoy at every corner.” The designers took that to heart, blanketing the home’s master suite, powder room and den in textured, pattern-rich wallpaper. Different ceiling heights throughout the home create boundaries for these decorative splashes: in the master bedroom, Parisian moulding and trompe l’oeil blocks span the ceiling, while a panel of oversized purple blooms climbs up the adjoining fireplace. “The bedroom wallpaper was an attempt at getting old-world architectural detail to contrast with this new Vancouver condo architecture that we see as normal,”

Looking Up Though the kitchen’s custom cabinetry is eyecatching in its own right, the ceiling is the real star of this space, decked out in Cole and Son’s Nuvolette wallpaper.

LI V ING | Treasure Hunter

The goal was to make sure the space was packed with personality—now there’s beautiful colour, pattern and texture to enjoy at every corner.

says Chow. Adding a bit of interest and whimsy, the trompe l’oeil blocks are also intentionally mismatched in all directions—a request their wallpaper installer called at least three times to confirm. In the kitchen, a swirling, mural-like ceiling proves to be one of the most striking features of the home: above the white-lacquered and grey oak cupboards floats a moody pattern of grey clouds, a reference to the homeowner’s nostalgic memories of time spent looking up at the sky and daydreaming. Even with all the patterned wallpaper, special collections and objets d’art, there’s nothing about the space that feels too loud or overwhelming, and that’s largely due to the neutral colour palette. Working off a base of whites and greys, the designers used tints of blue to 48

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

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Bathing Beauty An antique wroughtiron gate acts as a piece of sculptural art here, contrasting pleasingly with the sleek, modern tub. A blown-glass vase and oak stool add a touch of organic warmth.

52 Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

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LI V ING | Treasure Hunter

Vintage pieces, like the wrought-iron gate behind the tub, are also at home in this new, modern apartment thanks to subtle accent colours specific to antiques: shades of white, rust and wood.

both pop and soothe—from the bold over-dyed rug near the entrance to the soft blue-lilac bedroom accessories. Vintage pieces, like the wrought-iron gate behind the soaker tub, are also somehow at home in this new, modern apartment thanks in part to subtle accent colours specific to antiques: shades of white, rust and wood. Quirky treasures can be found all over the apartment and are a mix of the owner’s own collection and the designers’ selection—the pair got to know her so well. “It was a blast to collect accessories for her over time and then open them up in a space,” shared Baker. “Everything we did here was inspired by her whimsical point of view and her sense of adventure.” 54

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

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At Last It took a decade of renovations, but this Main Street loft finally feels like home. Any homeowner who’s lived through a renovation and design overhaul knows all too well that Rome wasn’t built in a day. But for one Vancouver entrepreneur, the transformation of a stark Main Street loft into his dream abode was an especially taxing practice in patience. “It’s been kind of a 10-year process, to be honest,” says Gary Baerg. “I started renting the loft in 2005 and I was running my business out of there. It was definitely a livework space.” Baerg, who owns an information technology support company, eventually moved his work into a separate office but decided to transition from tenant to homeowner when the loft went on the market a few years later. He commissioned Shape Architecture’s Alec Smith to make over the entire space, relocating the cramped kitchen and installing a second bathroom on the upper level in a two-phase project that spanned four years. But because he hadn’t consulted Smith on furniture and finishing touches, the suite still felt incomplete. “It was a really beautiful place, but it was cold—my old furniture just didn’t fit,” Baerg recalls. “I didn’t want to sink into the couch when I came home for the day. It almost looked half not-lived-in.” 56

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

“The space was really airy, floaty— just kind of out of balance,” says designer Jamie Deck. “So we grounded it with dark elements.”

Wood Works Behind the electric fi replace you’ll fi nd a 12-foot-tall installation of birch panels. Even when the fi re is off, it adds a warmth to the loft’s cool palette.

The design team played off the loft’s oak flooring, echoing the wood in varying tones throughout different parts of the home.

Enter interior designer Jamie Deck, director of local design firm Shift Interiors, who devised a plan to finish the renovated bachelor pad once and for all. On the agenda: creating a clean, enclosed feel in each room to offset the loft’s open-concept layout, maximizing seating for entertaining, and incorporating ample storage for Baerg’s hoard of personal treasures, which includes an extensive and well-rounded whisky collection. These goals needed to be met while maintaining Baerg’s penchant for minimalism and juxtaposition of dark and light colours. The walls were to remain white, as were the ceiling, the bulk of furnishings and decor. As a result, Deck introduced a variety of shades of black and grey to create contrast, and punches of texture—like

custom drapery and plenty of lush greenery—to help ground the breezy all-white space. In the living area, a charcoal Nathan Anthony sectional, oversized BoConcept floor lamp and plush leather armchairs lend weight to the room’s 15-foot ceilings and unadulterated walls. A grid-tufted headboard and quilted two-toned bedding exude a similar sense upstairs, countering the glossy white nightstands, DIY-hacked Ikea dressers and custom shoe cabinet. “The space was really airy, floaty, kind of out of balance,” says Deck. “So we grounded it the best we could with dark elements, creating contrast.” Deck and her team also played off the loft’s oak flooring (installed during the reno), echoing the wood in

Just Right Though many pieces in this bachelor pad are off-the-shelf—like the charcoal Nathan Anthony sectional sofa and leather Melbourne armchairs from Mint Interiors (opposite)—other elements are tailor-made for the space (custom curtains from Layers and Layers and a custom credenza, top right, designed by Shift Interiors).

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 59

LI V ING | At Last

varying tones throughout different parts of the home. Both the coffee table and custom media-console-slashplanter unit are made from rift-cut timber, while the dining area exhibits its own natural grain with a custom oak table that’s large enough to seat up to 12 people. Small hits of low-maintenance foliage by Greenstems enhance the loft’s earthy vibe, further grounding the space without compromising Baerg’s staunch, streamlined aesthetic. Tucked behind the living room’s electric fireplace, however, is perhaps the pad’s most striking organic feature: a 12-foot-tall wood installation, handcrafted from panels of real birch tree. “That was kind of an important piece, just to bring warmth into the space and make it feel really homey,” explains Deck. The sentiment is certainly appreciated by Baerg’s many guests, who hightail it to the nook at every visit. 60

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

What’s Cooking? Though there’s no formal dining room in this bachelor pad, four black leather Mobital Bond bar stools line the waterfall island in the kitchen (above). A simple glass backsplash adds a subtly reflective element to the minimalist space.

Off the Wall Open shelving in a room with extra-high ceilings is a smart choice: pretty ceramics, plants and even framed artwork help break up the expansive Chantilly Lacewhite kitchen wall.

LI V ING | At Last

Art Walk In the loft entryway, Baerg’s travel photos are showcased in generous black frames with ample white space for maximum impact.


Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

LI V ING | At Last

What do his friends and family think of Baerg’s completed space? “It’s a mix of ‘finally’ and ‘this is awesome,’” he laughs.

“It’s like they’re tractor-beamed into the corner by the fire,” says Baerg. “People love being in a blanket there; it’s unbelievably cozy.” Before reaching the living room, visitors are also wowed by the loft’s entryway, which showcases a series of photographs snapped by Baerg during his travels. The images, displayed in generous black frames (with extrawide matting) that float as high as the ceiling, turn the foyer into a quirky gallery space that’s amplified by a sparkling, multi-orbed pendant lamp and an avant-garde arrangement of metal wall hooks. “I’m really, really happy with the way it turned out,” says Baerg. And what do his friends and family think of the completed space? “It’s a mix of ‘finally’ and ‘this is awesome,’” he laughs. → visit for sources

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 63

Worlds Collide Minimalist elements (like a white slipcovered Montauk sofa) mingle with the ornate—a gilded antique mirror, a lush white pouf and a regal reupholstered Barbara Barry chair.

64 Western Living Condo Fall/Winter 2015


Calm, Cool, Collected A serene West End apartment plays host to a celebration of eclectic tastes. Peter Wilds is a bit of a collector. “When I’m out in the world, if I see a shape or pattern or piece of fabric that catches my eye, I put it into my arsenal, even if there’s no specific project in mind,” the Vancouver-based designer says. “And then I just wait.” So when he walked into this 1,100-square-foot West End apartment, which hadn’t been updated since the ’80s, he was armed with inspiration and ready to make something beautiful. Luckily, he and the homeowner had worked together on past projects, so there was already a connection and shorthand at play when it came time to tackle a refresh. “We share a similar aesthetic,” explains Wilds. “We’re fans of modernism, but at the same time love historical shapes and raw, primitive elements.” But before he could implement anything from his mental catalogue, the layout needed some serious work. Wilds gutted the space, knocking down walls to let natural light flow through the whole condo. The second Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 65

LI V ING | Calm, Cool, Collected

“Because the space is so calm, it can handle dramatic elements,” says designer Peter Wilds. “That’s the way in which I like to bring history in: on a clean backdrop.”

bedroom has been reconfigured into a study nook; the galley kitchen is still small but now has access to stunning views of Stanley Park. Then came the lush area rugs and graphic throw pillows, along with antique wood cabinets, beautifully worn olive-wood bowls and a pair of Barbara Barry-style chairs reupholstered in a grey-and-white print—a collection of patterns, materials and colours that Wilds had been stowing away for just the right moment. The result is an artful layering that gives this space a deeply personal vibe. But pulling all these disparate elements together was a constant balancing act. “The minute I have something very clean and serene and modern, I want something honest or historical,” laughs Wilds. 66 Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

The neutral palette—a diverse mix of whites, creams and beiges mixed with sand tones and charcoal greys— offers a serene backdrop for the eclectic collection of furniture and accessories. “The colour story connects things, bringing those elements with varying scales and shapes together,” says Wilds. Though the seating is custom-upholstered, Wilds also commissioned multiple slipcovers—white, tan and charcoal options—so the look can be changed up when the mood strikes. You’ll find a metallic thread running through the space, too—the silver Jonathan Adler lamp, the gold and white Oly Studio coffee table—to add another layer of warmth and texture. The most striking example of this, of course, is the ornate gold-framed mirror sourced from

Knock on Wood The worn wood cabinet (above) is part of the homeowner’s collection, and it adds a personal touch to the clean, serene space.

Making Room The custom dining table found just outside the cozy sitting room operates as a desk and casual bar area, but when the homeowner is hosting dinners, it folds out to seat eight.

LI V ING | Calm, Cool, Collected

Gild and Co. “Because the space is so calm, it can handle those things,” says Wilds. “That’s the way in which I like to bring history in: on a clean backdrop.” That pursuit of serenity extends to the compact galley kitchen, where clean lines and a mellow palette rule. “I love a white kitchen, but the homeowner wanted something different,” says Wilds. “The challenge was trying to figure out the balance between having an interesting tone without being too dark or heavy.” He turned to Livingspace for some help, who set him up with Arclinea MDS, who produced cabinetry in a warm taupey-grey tone. With the countertop, though, they embraced the dark side: it’s now lined with a graphite marble. Installing it was a lesson in precision, says Wilds: “We stood with fabricators and marked out where we wanted the veining lines to go and how they would work around the cut-out for the sink and the cooktop.” Meanwhile, the backsplash—or lack thereof—is an exercise in restraint. “I didn’t want to see any seams or grout lines or pattern there, so we just skipped it.” That minimalist attitude 68

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

Colour Story The palette mirrors the tones in the homeowner’s art collection so closely that it’s hard to imagine which came first. “I can’t even remember,” says Wilds. “It’s just our language, the world we operate in.”

The pursuit of serenity extends to a compact galley kitchen, where clean lines and a mellow palette rule the sophisticated space.

Getting Warmer Instead of a classic white kitchen, Wilds went with something warmer: taupe-toned custom cabinetry from Arclinea and a dark, beautifully veined marble countertop.

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 69

LI V ING | Calm, Cool, Collected

Bold and Beautiful A custom cushion and a cut-out Oly lamp add more hits of pattern to support the bold watercolour-striped paper that lines the feature wall.


extends to the appliances, which are hidden by the sleek and simple millwork. In the study, Wilds found just the right use for the grasscloth he’d been keeping in mind for months. “It’s a great addition of texture, warmth and movement in a serene space,” he explains. Now a swath of the rich taupe paper lines the wall behind a relaxed slipcovered chaise longue. Wallpaper appears again in the bedroom, where watercolour-style stripes in charcoal, grey and olive pop from behind a custom upholstered bed frame. It’s a pattern Wilds is particularly pleased with. “I was obsessed with that print and palette!” he laughs. “It’s timeless and classic while still edging up the space with a bit of cool factor.” While this well-curated condo started as a showcase for Wilds’s collections of inspiration, it’s so much more than a sum of pieces and patterns: it’s a space that feels like home.

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

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The Lived-In Look How Oliver Simon Design gave actor Callum Keith Rennie’s loft a makeover— without it looking like a makeover. It took a few years for film and television actor Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Gallactica, The Firm) to finally give in to his friend, designer Jamie Hamilton. “I kept telling him, ‘You’re a movie star; you deserve a beautiful space,’” she laughs as she recalls looking around his vintage-’90s digs. Eventually, he gave in to her pleas for an update; off to Toronto for six months to shoot a new project, he handed over the keys to Hamilton and Greer Nelson (her partner at Oliver Simon Design), knowing his 900-square-foot loft would be gutted in his absence. “Just one thing,” he told them. “Don’t make it look designed.” Translation: what Rennie was really asking for was a home that looked like it had naturally evolved. “A place a dude has designed,” explains Hamilton. “Something masculine and casual. Something that was him.” In addition to his acting work, Rennie is a committed painter. So, after the original space was stripped to the bones, new walls were kept gallery white in order to highlight his extensive (and gritty) collection. (His own work mingles with paintings by Ronan Boyle and a fantastic Graeme Berglund dog sculpture that’s composed of scrap wood retrieved from alleys.) Rennie paints at home, so the floors could not be precious, either: the original 72

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

Art Attack Homeowner Rennie is a painter and art collector, so the designers painted the walls a crisp gallery white to best showcase his favourite pieces.

Take a Seat Classic Eames designs (the leather lounger and Eiffel armchair) are investment pieces that fit in just right with this industrialcool loft. A Lee Industries sofa rounds out the masculine seating options.

What Rennie was asking for was a home that looked like it had naturally evolved. “Something masculine and casual. Something that was him,� explains designer Jamie Hamilton.

LI V ING | The Lived-In Look

Rennie soon discovered that his “un-designed” space had plenty of thoughtful elements. It takes work to look so casual.

painted floors were ground down and covered with a layer of polished concrete. As a bonus, the concrete pairs perfectly with the rich caramel tones of a generously proportioned leather sectional that anchors the living space. This neutral 16-foot-high box was then girded with beams of reclaimed timber. A metal staircase that Nelson considered “really dated and crowding the space” was replaced by floating wooden steps that lead up to the bedroom loft. There, an original plywood floor was replaced with weathered, warehouse-recovered wood. Meanwhile, steel ceiling beams were cleverly encased in wood, too, giving this 20-year-old loft a century-old appearance. More millwork was needed to create a simple platform for the bed. And the bedroom was completed with a couple of nods to Rennie’s film career: a James Dean canvas and his two Leo Awards rest on the walnut dresser. (The cowhide rug and vintage men’s hat collection fulfill Hamilton’s “dude” promise.) 76

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

Old Meets New Part of getting that “un-designed” look was to source pieces with a sense of history, like the coffee table in the living room (seen above, along with a scrap-wood sculpture by Graeme Berglund), which was found at an antiques market.

2016 collection From our To your



LI V ING | The Lived-In Look

Like the bedroom, the bathroom (downstairs) called for a shift in time—but also more literal movement. “It was just too small,” explains Hamilton. “Terribly small.” So one wall was pushed two feet out, into the kitchen’s space. (The kitchen, consequently, stole two feet from the large living room, so nothing felt diminished in the end.) An antique steel sink-and-vanity unit, compact but big on storage, was sourced from a defunct factory in India. The plumber was able to modernize its one-tap industrial piping. Other imported heritage elements include hexagonal tilework on the floor and a gorgeous claw-foot tub, complete with brightly polished claws. Collections of antique trophies in the cabinet and antique scissors dangling by the tub give off more metallic hints to brighten and enliven the loft’s only windowless room. When Rennie came home from that Toronto film shoot, he discovered that his “un-designed” space had 78 Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

Sweet Dreams Instead of a typical frame, the mattress (draped with a Fullhouse Modern duvet cover) rests on a custom wood platform, which adds some architectural interest to the open loft bedroom.

Steel ceiling beams were cleverly encased in wood, giving this 20-year-old loft a century-old appearance.

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016 79

Full of Surprises A trophy collection, a mobile of scissors and a vintage skull may not be typical bathroom decor, but in this eclectic home, they’re a perfect fit.


plenty of thoughtful elements. It takes work to look so casual. The full-length mirror in the living room, for example? It’s set there to accommodate Rennie’s work on his golf swing (there are handy wire baskets full of golf balls, too). And the front door coated with blackboard paint? It’s Hamilton and Nelson’s way to manage another Rennie trait: he has a tendency to draw on his walls; this way, he doesn’t do damage. When it’s time for bed, privacy isn’t a big concern for the bachelor—but daylight definitely is. All that travel for work means he’s often trying to get some shut-eye at odd hours. But this too has been subtly considered: the curtains are blackout drapes. One more way this “undesigned” space designs on the sly.

Western Living Condo Spring/Summer 2016

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The Netherlands’ second-largest city is making a serious comeback (look out, Amsterdam). Wiped of almost all its architectural history during the Second World War, Rotterdam now boasts an impressive mix of contemporary and experimental design, including Rem Koolhaas’s De Rotterdam building: the 150-metre edifice combines residential, hotel and office towers in a single structure on the southern bank of the Meuse River. Nearly equal in height and width (the building measures more than 100 metres wide), De Rotterdam has a large but dynamic presence. The behemoth structure—conceptualized by Koolhaas as a “vertical city”—comprises three shifting glass towers atop a six-storey pedestal. Like a modern-day metropolis, the mixed-use building is divided into districts: public spaces (sport and restaurant facilities, as well as a bustling central lobby) occupy the plinth, while private spaces are reserved within the West, Mid and East towers. De Rotterdam is just one of many landmark developments aimed at restoring the vibrant culture of this portside city—blurring the line between work and play. —Kaitlyn Gendemann


western living condo Spring/Summer 2016

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CONDO, Spring2016  

Western Living Condo is the award winning magazine that showcases the most innovative and inspiring interior design in condos across the Low...

CONDO, Spring2016  

Western Living Condo is the award winning magazine that showcases the most innovative and inspiring interior design in condos across the Low...