A recent report in the Globe & Mail suggests the “ugly downturn” expected in the Toronto condominium market due to the proliferation of projects being built, may not happen now due to continued population growth and modest employment gains being made in the GTA. An obvious sign of this has been the increasing number of cranes on the Toronto skyline, which since the global economic downturn of 2008 have continued strongly with more projects on the go than any other city in North America. Even international businessman, Peter Munk, Founder & Chairman, Barrick Gold, is taking a contrarian bet to the politicians and economists view of the Toronto condo market, recently investing in CD Captial a new Canadian real estate company headed by Todd Cowan and Jordan Dermer which is focused on becoming one of Canada’s leading condominium developers over the next 10-20 years. Munk, the former head of real estate giant Trizec Properties, which was sold to Brookfield Properties Corp. in 2006 for more than $5-billion – is now spending some of his personal wealth on financing condo projects in Canada’s most populous city.
With this kind of confidence in the condominium real estate market it bodes well for interior designers, artisans and craftsman seeking venues for their work, in helping developers and architects market these projects more effectively by the inclusion of exclusive architectural art features thereby setting themselves apart from the mainstream. This can also be seen in the landscape of the luxury hotel market where both Shangri-La Hotels and the Four Seasons Hotel chain, (new flagship hotel) have recently opened featuring architectural art installations seen on the interior and exteriors of their properties to great public recognition. Including “Rising” the stunning sculpture by Zhang Huan, one of China’s most influential contemporary artists, which was unveiled at the Shangri-La Hotel, becoming one of the most popular tourist spots in the city for photographs.
One of the most interesting developments for hoteliers is the way the hotel lobby is fast becoming a more valuable venue to host guests in a more desirable setting where both piano bar entertainment and the visual beauty of art can be appreciated to maximum effect. The open concept lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel is a perfect example of this by providing a unique meeting place where one can enjoy cocktails in a luxurious setting of fireside calm before heading to one of the two world-class hotel restaurants Bosk and Momofuku. This new hotel lobby style actually seems like a throw back to the Edwardian period, when hotel guests would travel slowly by ship to enjoy the grand tour of Europe often meeting their friends in foreign cities where the hotel lobby became the familiar meeting place. This sensibility seems to be returning to both condominium and hotel lobby life, where the interior spaces being created herald this same idea of connecting lifestyle with luxury. Developers have come to realize that whether they are catering to young urban professionals or to Zoomers looking to downsize, its important to provide environments which enrich the living experience both in exclusivity and in maintaining the value of the property.
The Shangri-La Hotel and Four Seasons Hotel towers in Toronto both include private condominium residences, which has now become the norm in helping the financing of such high-end 5-Star living environments in the sky. These exclusive residential properties demand unique art enhancements for their public spaces, which is why Raynes Art + Design Ltd is now focused on developing architectural scale crystal sculpture and glass installations for similar type projects being built both in Canada and internationally. To help provide high realism renderings of his glass and crystal designs, Mark Raynes Roberts, Principal, Raynes Art + Design Ltd has now introduced 3D digital design for architects and developers, having teamed up with 3D Digital Interior Designer, Winiefred N’Diaye. For more information please visit: http://raynesartdesign.com/design/collaborations/winiefred-cad-design/