The secret to designing an inspiring living space
July 8, 2020

Raymond Chow finds beauty in the simple things. “Good design is a combination of simple elements, consideration given to proportion, light, and material selection to create an inspiring space.” We sat down with the award-winning co-founder and partner of gh3* Architects to discover his secrets

gh3* frequently collaborates with Collecdev.
That’s right. We’ve worked on a number of Collecdev projects, most recently, Nørdic. We love working with the Collecdev team because they share our commitment to strive for something better than the norm.

Abundant natural light seems to be a core focus of their communities - how do you ensure that through suite design?
We push for suite layouts that are shallower than the industry standard. The benefits are undeniable – shallow units mean more of your square footage is directly adjacent to the outdoors, whether that’s via windows, or with access to an outdoor space like a balcony or terrace. The positive impact this has on the experience of the space is immense. Personally, I wish the industry as a whole would say goodbye to deep suite plans – people were not made to live in the dark.

Let’s talk a little bit about the main living space in a condo, presumably it’s the spot where people spend most of their time.
The open concept kitchen / living area is definitely the most important room in a home. It’s the space where we like to relax at the end of a hard day and where we host friends at the end of the week. It has to fulfill many functions - cooking, eating, relaxing, celebrating, hosting. It can also be the part of our homes where we get to express our design sensibilities and personality most through furniture, art, furnishings etc.

 So aside from how to incorporate a designer sofa / vintage Eames chair / favourite piece of art - what’s the first thing someone should consider when designing their main living space?
Consider how you will use the space at different times of the day, and various times of the year. A main living space needs to meet a lot of needs, especially when we consider that they’re almost always directly adjacent to the kitchen / dining area. Your design needs to account for a range of activities – considering them from the start will mean a more enjoyable experience of your home.

What's the one thing that can transform a space from ordinary to inspiring?
Simplicity in design and the use of quality materials.

That seems evident in your design at Nørdic – the white façade is such a clean and simple addition to the streetscape, an aesthetic that appears to continue into the suites.
We were inspired by Scandinavian cities and used that Northern European style to help us achieve the objective we set for all of our residential designs – to help people feel comfortable, safe, and at ease in the space. To create a space that feels like home.

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