Category Archives: 30 Roehampton

N0.14 – Inspired interiors by II BY IV Design

We caught up with Dan Menchion, founding partner at II BY IV Design Associates located in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood. We asked him about his favourite buildings, his company and what purchasers can expect to see at our new Minto 30 Roe project.

What was the brief you were given with Minto 30 Roe?

DM: They wanted to attract a young audience, and knowing the demographic of Yonge and Eglinton–lots of singles and lots of young families–They were looking for us to create something unique. They definitely weren’t looking for a beige building. With Minto being at the forefront of condo development right now and offering these great experience-based spaces, we were led to create some really interesting interiors for them.

What can we expect to see when the project is complete?

DM: The unexpected, really. This project is probably the most unique that we’ve worked on. It’s really uncommon for a developer to allow us to take this approach. We brought a lot more international style to the space. We brought a lot of influences from our travels and contemporary boutique hotels. The look is more sculptural. Some of the cities that inspired us were by Barcelona, Bilbao, Paris, London and Buenos Aires. Those are great cities with high design culture. That’s where we brought a lot of the influences from.

The 30 Roe party room

How did the location of this project influence the building’s interior design?

DM: I think that neighborhood is ready for something like this. 30 Roe is really cosmopolitan in its design and style. You know you’re not right in the downtown core, but you’re still in the city. I really believe that this area will be a destination. I think it was the hottest, hippest place to go for a while, but then it digressed. Now with all the new developments, like MintoMidtown, and with some of the other developments in that area it’s really coming back to life.

How does the firm’s role change as a project advances through the stages?

DM: We’re generally there right from the beginning to the end, but that’s a client-driven thing. Some clients don’t retain us to do construction management because they have their own crews come in, but we’re always there to answer questions. We are always actively involved. Minto has their own team take over to oversee the construction and they call us for questions and site reviews.

Tell us about your favourite buildings.

DM: My favourite is The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain by Santaigo Calatrava. Just looking at photos of the complex, you’d understand. It’s spectacular. So futuristic. I love the lines, the forms, the reflections, the softness and the materials. I also like to go to London and visit the Connaught Hotel and my favourite department store, Liberty. My favourite hotel in New York is the Mercer. I’ve been staying there for thirteen years.

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

Does II BY IV’s work have a specific look, or does it change completely from project to project?

DM: It changes completely. I think that’s been the success of the company. We really are able to create an individual look for each client.

What are some landmark projects for II BY IV?

DM: There are actually quite a few. Yankee Stadium, the CN Tower; the Trump Hotel in Toronto; Crystal Cruises. We’re probably one of the only design firms in Canada that does the interiors for cruise ships.

What is the working relationship typically like between you and the architect?

DM: Most of our projects are very closely linked with architects, and the relationship has always been excellent. We’ve worked with every type and level of architect across the board and have had great success with them. Typically we are given a building template and we’ll inspire each other. Sometimes the project has already been designed, but they might tweak it once they see our interior work. In the case of 30 Roehampton, the building was already designed but they didn’t have a featured entrance for the lobby. We created a lovely canopy structure for them that really set a precedent for some of the design elements going forward in the landscaping and the interior.

How do you approach the design of your own home? What is one of your favourite pieces?

DM: The interior of my home evolves every year. It’s a canvas that’s never finished. It’s very eclectic. Most of the things in it are old objects or found objects, or things picked up on our travels. My favourite piece is our dining room table. It’s an old door that we found on our neighbour’s lawn when we lived on Palmerston Boulevard in Toronto. It was part of a pair of interior sliding doors and it’s about 400 lbs. of solid mahogany made in 1893. We now use that as our dining room table with a slab of 3/4inch glass on top. The legs are just vertical metal poles in the centre that kind of disappear.

Do you see a shift in the way condos and sales centres are being designed?

DM: Absolutely. As the market becomes more competitive, each developer is stepping it up a notch. We’re really seeing a lot of growth and people are bringing a lot more international style and a lot more influence from the hotel industry. So you’re seeing spaces becoming more hotel-like, with people using their lobbies as communal spaces. They become the first impression of your  home, even before you get to your own unit. It’s really important for these public spaces to be fantastic.




10 green innovations at 30Roe

Every project we do is about creating a building you will love living in. But while we focus on the quality of life of our residents, we can’t ignore the environmental impact of our projects.

We believe in creating better places for our residents. Healthier lifestyles should be simple to enjoy and at Minto30Roe you can rely on thoughtful, intelligent design to make living well the first and only choice. Our sustainable design approach is anchored in our commitment to deliver lifestyle, innovation, value, design and sustainability. From the construction process to everyday living, the below video shows you ten ways the new 30 Roehampton is making condo living greener. Enjoy!

No.9 – Work on your pipes without ever leaving home

The gym at 30 Roehampton

You may remember our recent interview with Mark Stables. He is a pioneer of sorts in the field of condominium exercise facilities. Once upon a time, the condo gym was a mere afterthought. Mark helped bring it to the forefront for design teams, sales teams and purchasers alike.

One of his latest projects is the gym for our 30 Roehampton community. Not only does it look energizing, but the results of our admittedly unscientific Twitter poll suggest people would actually exercise more if they had a gym in their building. Go figure.

No.7 – The Yonge subway is a hop, skip and a jump from your front door

More accurately, The subway entrance is 350 metres from 30 Roe; a four-minute walk if the good people at Google Maps are to be believed. And if you’re headed to Union Station, for example, you’ll be there in another 16 minutes.

Your options really open up when you can traverse so much of the city in so little time, and all without a car. What will you discover next?


Q&A with Mark Stables: condo gyms & working out in them

The gym at Minto's 88 at Yonge & Sheppard

Looks like you’re out of excuses. When it comes to condo amenities, the most highly sought after, receiving the highest usage by purchasers has become the gym. Enter Mark Stables. He’s designed many a condo gym, including the ones at minto775 King West, 88 and the new 30 Roehampton. His company, Benchmark, is an integrated health & fitness company that provides personal training, yoga, Pilates and massage therapy in homes or condos. He’s looking to add acupuncture and physiotherapy to the roster soon.

Benchmark’s offshoot, Movement Haus, began in 2010. Movement Haus looks at the architectural and interior design components of fitness amenity design for condominiums.

“We create a functional design for developers, we equip the space with state of the art equipment, then we provide all the services that Benchmark Group offers,”

We caught up with Mark earlier this week for a little Q&A.

How did you make the leap from working out in gyms to designing them?
MS: I was working as a fitness director and personal trainer. After a while it became apparent that some of the members would prefer the convenience of having a trainer come to their homes. That’s when I started my company training clients at home. I moved to Toronto shortly thereafter and started approaching developers about helping them equip their spaces and providing services like yoga, Pilates, massage therapy and nutrition. But in 2003 Toronto just wasn’t ready for it yet.

In 2010 I designed my first condo environment and discovered by passion for architecture & design. By then I had seen really poor example as well as really great examples of condo gyms. I started working with developers at the inception stages of design, working with their in-house architects & designers to design the space, equip it and then provide the services.

You’ve designed three gyms for Minto buildings. What are some of the key differences between them?
MS: Minto775 will have an industrial feel with unfinished concrete ceilings. 88 is a little more refined. It has high ceilings, lots of natural light and exposed glass facing north with direct access to the courtyard. Yoga, Pilates and TRX classes will share a dedicated private studio space. When Benchmark classes aren’t in session,  the area can also be used for personal training and stretching. The main gym will house the latest in true-to-form functional strength and cardio equipment. Lastly, the spinning section will be equipped with Keiser M3 spin bikes.

The cardio equipment will have iPod docking stations with internet-ready screens. Whatever you download on your iPod can be played on your very own screen, or you can browse online during your workout. Classes on offer will include Yoga, Pilates and TRX, as well as spinning. All of these will be supported by personal training, nutrition coaching and massage therapy to further optimize the exercise facilities at 88, ensuring they are used to their best potential as opposed to providing spaces with no follow-through on intended usage.

30 Roe is currently at the design stage, so it’s too early to tell.

Developers have been using marketing jargon like “state of the art 5 star fitness amenities” for years, and benchmark is really about defining what that is.

Obviously you have to choose the equipment and decide where to put it, but what are some of the more subtle things that figure into the design?
MS: We want to create more of a studio environment. It’s been getting better over the last few years, but I’ve seen enough facilities that are just using leftover square footage and throwing in a multigym, a treadmill and a rowing machine and calling it a five star fitness amenity. We talk about the equipment placement from the beginning so you don’t have cords everywhere. We look at the architectural drawings to make sure the space works. Sometime columns have to be moved.

After looking at the physical space, we look at the lighting, flooring, window placement and wall treatments; anything to make the space more inviting. We want it to be comfortable, with wifi so people can come down and hang out. At 30 Roehampton they’ll have a chillout room where people can lounge and meet friends during and after a workout.

What are some of the stereotypes people have of personal trainers? Which ones are true?
MS: My favourite is that all personal trainers are health-obsessed and will accept nothing less than the pinnacle of health. Some might be like that, but we’re people, too. I baked cookies this morning. I go out to restaurants and eat pasta. I love wine. When I was cycling in Italy and France [for the better part of a month last summer] I was riding really hard, and then I would go to wineries afterwards and do some tasting.

How much does one really need to work out?
MS: I think 3 times per week for about 30-45 mins is a good answer. I always encourage people to walk. The key is to find something you love doing. The treadmill might burn more calories, but it doesn’t matter if you like the eliptical and are actually going to use it.

What’s the best way to start working out if you’ve never tried before?
MS: Again it’s going to be simply finding what you enjoy doing. Have a game plan and set some goals. This is where having a personal trainer really becomes effective. Start be examining what you’re currently doing. What’s been working for you and what hasn’t? Then set some goals for yourself and figure out what you need to do to get there.

What percentage of gym memberships do you estimate go unused?
MS: I would say 80%. It’s been a while since I checked the stats. But if you look at the [big chains], every January you’ve got this huge mass of people joining up, but after 4-6 weeks, I think about 80% have lost their gusto and motivation and stopped working out. It has to do with old behaviours and old habits. This is where condo-based amenities could add a lot of value for people.