You may recall our last interview with Carmen when we discussed her approach to our WaterGarden development. Now she’s working with us again on 88. We caught up with her to ask her about this new venture.
What inspiration did you take from 88’s location at Yonge & Sheppard?
CD: 88 has one of the best locations right in the urban core of North York. With a density that increases every year, I thought it would be ideal for our condo dwellers to find a small private oasis inside their private residential complex, so my interior design ideas revolved around the exterior water garden design by the landscape architect.
88 has a large water feature that is similar to Minto WaterGarden. How did you incorporate the outdoor setting of the water feature into the interior design of 88 while differentiating the design from Minto WaterGarden?
CD: The interior space was created to capture the essence of the landscape design. From inside the lobby, exercise room and party room, there is a kind of communion between the interior and exterior spaces. Each amenity space features finishes and furnishings complementary to the outdoor design. Both spaces live together, separated only by the glass wall of the north façade of the building.
88 has a contemporary look with large surfaces enriched with textures like wood and stone, vivid red colors and lighting accents.
WaterGarden, by contrast, uses a more transitional approach with intricate details, shapes & forms, blue accents and large light fixtures.
What is it like to design a space that has yet to be built versus working in a space that you can see and feel?
CD: It actually makes no difference for me if the space I design is already built or not. If anything it gives me more opportunities to create the space from inside out. When I come up with a design concept I can see all the details in my mind, like the ceilings, cove lighting, recessed niches, wall finishes, textures, and furniture.
Since the project details were still being finalized as you began designing, was there a lot of interaction with the architect or engineers? What other consultants or groups of people did you have to work with in order to understand or complete your design?
CD: There is always constant coordination with all consultants from architects and engineers to the landscape architect. All of our design concepts are then put into 3D by another consultant who is in charge of the video, animation and renderings of the spaces. It is quite a laborious and very fulfilling process.
We spoke to you about your firm, esQape Design Inc., in our last interview. What is the company up to in general? How many team members worked with you on the design for 88?
CD: We are working on quite a few condominium projects these days, but only on quality developments with a clear vision and appreciation for good design. There were four of us working on this project at the design stage. Each project is different and I love when a great new project comes along because I always find inspiration for new themes and design ideas. I’m always excited to be able to make a design vision reality.
Special thanks to Carmen for her time. Once we share the renderings, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect from 88, but we think this interview with Carmen nicely whets the appetite.