Clémande Burgevin Blachman admits she wasn’t an obvious choice to work on a 17-storey tower in Ian Gillespie’s Oakridge development.
“It’s very disruptive,” the former creative director at Calvin Klein notes. “But that’s seminal to this whole project—this is not the classic way to sell homes.”
Indeed, visitors to the showroom are treated to a walk through a startling vision of the future—it’s a sell that’s about purchasing more than property.
Blachman says her misgivings about taking on a project that reached far beyond her previous experience disappeared as she discussed it with Gillespie. “When I talked with Ian about home and design, we talked a lot about Bauhaus,” she recalls. “The beauty of Bauhaus was going from fashion and architecture to furniture, and everything makes sense in the language, and that inspired us.”
Although she was given carte blanche to design the apartments as she saw fit, Blachman deferred to the architects regarding the nuts and bolts, concentrating instead on the interiors. The result—the renderings and options of which are now available to walk through—is a complete package. Buyers can choose between certain finishes and colours, but Blachman’s finished work comes fully furnished.
For the studio apartments, that goes as far as the cups and cutlery, bathrobes and toothbrushes. “It’s a different way of thinking,” she explains. “The studio is likely your first commitment—your first ‘buy’—you may not have everything you need. And so you have your starter box, and that’s why we called it The Studio Sets. It’s a life. In a set.”
The larger fully furnished properties are, she suggests, for those looking for a pied-à-terre, something more like a hotel, or for those who simply don’t want the hassle of finding the right sofa or coffee table.
“When I looked at this project, it was so far away from me, I thought, ‘Could I live there?’ And that’s how I approached it.” She shrugs. “I pushed it as far as I needed to for me to be able to see that possibility.”
The Oakridge x Clémande exhibit can be viewed as part of Westbank’s Oakridge showroom until the end of the year.
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