November 9, 2012

Design makes project stand out. ‘Why buy here?’ rules the choices that were made

The facts:

Project: Station Square

What: 1,802 condominiums in five towers. Phase 1: 269 homes

Where: #115 — 4600 Kingsway at McKay Avenue, Burnaby (sales centre)

Residence sizes: Studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom + den, two-bedrooms,  two-bedrooms + den; 476 — 1,382 sq. ft.

Price: For information on pricing and availability, call the sales centre at  604-438-1113

Developer: Anthem Properties and Beedie Living

For any interior designer, creating display suites for the massive Station  Square development might have spelled one thing: high pressure.

Station Square, the retail and commercial centre neighbouring Burnaby’s  Metrotown, will soon be reformed into a vibrant community of condominium towers  with retailers lining outdoor space filled with public art, urban bike trails,  wide sidewalks and rain gardens.

The project by Anthem Properties and Beedie Living is one of many  developments to offer suites in the bustling Metrotown, a popular spot among  investors. So how to stand out?

Ever the professional, Cheryl Broadhead took a calm, methodical approach,  framing the challenge into a question.

“It’s the ‘why buy here?’ factor,” says Broadhead, a principal with partner  Ada Bonini in BYU (Bob’s Your Uncle) Design.

The ‘why buy here?’ factor is the tipping point — the one thing that sends a  buyer to a suite at Station Square, as opposed to its neighbours around the  Kingsway corridor.

“There are a lot of buildings going up and the pressure is on to design  something that sets this building apart.”

Broadhead and her team found the answer by zeroing in on two important  aspects of condo living: the kitchen — vital for its practical uses and as the  hub of the social life — and storage.

There’s ample space in several closets and drawers, including one tucked  under the range; two deep drawers below the bathroom vanity and the shelves and  cupboards built into the side of the kitchen island.

“One of the main points made when we receive feedback on condominium living  is that there is not enough storage,” Broadhead says.

“For the interiors at Station Square, the kitchen was the focus and is the  key to what sets these homes apart.”

The island, a standout in the open-concept living space and inspired by  European design, elevates the dining and cooking-prep area.

“We were inspired by an Italian line of kitchens that use interesting design  features to make a statement, while creating extra storage and function. They  are the definitely focal point of the interiors.”

Elsewhere in the display suites, BYU Design shows the effect that can be made  with simple contrasts. Furnishings, floors and cabinets strike a balance with  dark and light elements. In the kitchen white lacquer cabinet doors and white  glass on the upper cabinets in the kitchen keep a light consistent line.

Considering BYU Design had to work with not the usual one, but two respected  developers, Broadhead was relieved to find how smoothly the whole process went — thanks to the range of expertise at Beedie Living and Anthem Properties, she  says.

“The breadth of experience and knowledge of the people involved was  fantastic.

It was interesting to hear the different feedback and perspectives … the  process produced an end result we are all very excited about.”

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Read more:

Rendering of Station Square, a five-tower condominium project by Anthem Properties and Beedie Living located at Kingsway and McKay in Vancouver. Handout. For Westcoast Homes. [PNG Merlin Archive]