We often take the buildings that line our city streets for granted, seldom if ever considering the story behind each new commercial or residential development that shapes the landscape of our community. As residents and passersby, we reap the benefits of carefully crafted structures, created by talented architects, builders and developers to serve a purpose – or collection of objectives – beyond what we might imagine.
It is in that stage of vision and imagination that the relationship between architect and developer begins, evolves and remains a vital and constant element of each project – from conception to completion.
When Morley-Hoppner began the process of creating a state-of-the-art residential and commercial development that would ultimately frame the South-West border of Westboro, they trusted in the Ottawa architecture firm of Barry J. Hobin and Associates. What they created there became Westboro Station, an attractive wedge-shaped, multi-phase condo development with street-level commercial units, designed to highlight its position and create a gateway into the bustling neighbourhood.
As with any relationship, each player makes their own distinct contribution to its success. Savvy developers know the key to commercial success and viability is a well-designed (and executed) building. Good architecture considers the context, site conditions, target audience/buyer and the ultimate price point as part of the design process – going beyond innovation to ensure that the developer’s vision is fulfilled within the unique characteristics of the neighbourhood the developer has carefully chosen.
In new home and low-rise condo communities, builders will often adapt to existing designs but, working with an architecture firm who understands the project’s goals, and shares in an overall vision for the cityscape means that, although initial costs may be higher for the developer, the final product will stand out. Consumers will become part of a community that has been designed to benefit its neighbourhood, carefully considering its location and streetscape.
As a vision for Morley-Hoppner’s new low-rise condo development in Beaverbrook began to take shape, they again looked to Barry J. Hobin and Associates, a relationship now tried and true. Hobin, in turn, provided a 7 storey condominium building. Two The Parkway has been designed to suit consumers who are looking for a home that is unique and requires little maintenance, while allowing them to remain in the Kanata neighbourhood they have grown to love. The Hobin team also provided innovative designs for common spaces including the lobby, the lounge, the outdoor terrace and the gym.
Initially envisioned as a 16 storey building, Morley-Hoppner and Hobin revised the design early in the process in order to make the project better suited to the scale of the neighbourhood. At a cost far below what a similar condo might cost in the heart of the city, the Two the Parkway project has already sold multiple units – pre-construction.
Next on the Hobin/Morley-Hoppner drawing board? The restoration of an old school at 12 Stirling Avenue in Hintonburg into smart and attractive lofts and condos.
Working with an architect brings a level of sophistication and uniqueness to each commercial, residential or condominium project and ensures flawless execution of the developer’s vision. An architect whose reputation for excellence in both design and project execution, lends to the credibility of the project and to building a relationship with a committed developer that, by combining form and function, will build a community.