Project details

The units of this downtown Ottawa condominium were marketed by its developer as “statements of modern, urban living”—cliché real estate language used to describe small apartments featuring cramped, segregated spaces and plans that allow only a single furniture arrangement, and therefore only a single way for the space to be inhabited. Confident that we could turn this misleading language into actual fact, we began a dramatic rethinking of this 850 square foot space.

The remaking of this developer unit rejects the model of large homes that segregate “served” (public) space from “service” (private) spaces. Most urban apartments simply cannot comfortably create two such distinct types of spaces. With this, one must make dynamic and poetic use of Poché (pronounced po-shay) — the solid spaces between walls. Even after the existing partitions were removed, the interior remained a jumble of mechanical units and columns. The perimeter was regularized by a continuous floor-to-ceiling wall of cabinetry and elliptical forms (the most spatially-advantageous shape) were used to create enclosures that both conceal the mechanical units and columns.

The areas formed by the ellipses are closets and to maintain a visually unified interior, the same form was then used to create the shower. Thus, the shower, generally one of the most private of spaces, becomes the focal point of the unit. (How many apartments can boast a shower with a 270-degree view over the city?) The two closet ellipses are made of silk stretched to steel frames while the shower is made of curved glass with the same silk over its exterior.

The entry’s urinal, (bathroom technology engineered to minimize splashing) provides water for a very large dog with sloppy drinking habits. A study housing a workstation, shelving, and the keyboard of an electric piano fitted to a drawer are likewise folded into the depth of the storage wall. A “garden” of fibre-optic rods that sway and make sounds in the manner of reeds is placed around the edges of the balcony creates an outdoor living room whose garden aspect, even in the winter, creates a serene visual counterpoint to the bustle of the city beyond and below.


Ottawa, Ontario



Floor Plans and Drawings

In the media

Kariouk Architects: Redeveloper Apartment video thumbnail
Redeveloper Apartment
Casa-Vogue Redeveloper Apartment feature thumbnail
Casa Vogue – Apartamento é cheio de soluções criativas
Chic-Haus magazine cover thumbnail
Chic Haus Magazine – Urbana Y Moderna
Casa Viva magazine cover thumbnail
Casa Viva – Panorama Entre Columnas
Canadian Interiors - Off the Wall in Ottawa magazine cover thumbnail
Canadian Interiors – Off the Wall in Ottawa
Houses Apartments Under 1000 Square Feet Cover with feature of Redeveloper Apartment
Houses & Apartments Under 1000 Square Feet – Redeveloper Apartment
Ottawa Magazine: My Condo cover thumbnail
Ottawa Magazine – My Condo
Votre Maison magazine cover thumbnail
Votre Maison – Hors Norme
ArchDaily Redeveloper Apartment feature thumbnail
ArchDaily – Redeveloper Apartment
Globe and Mail cover thumbnail of Redeveloper Apartment feature
Globe and Mail – Thinking Small
Ottawa Citizen: Tucked in a Pocket cover thumbnail of Redeveloper Apartment feature
Ottawa Citizen – Tucked in a Pocket
Contemporist website screenshot thumbnail of Redeveloper Apartment feature
Contemporist – Redeveloper Apartment