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July 07, 2005

The Galleries

For people who appreciate the finer things in life

Andrea Cox

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You have probably never thought of emulating the qualities of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in London or even Calgary’s Glenbow Museum in the design of your home. But you have to admit, the thought of living in a gallery surrounded by your treasured art collection is worth considering. It is not surprising then, that Assured Developments Ltd. has birthed an exciting new concept in urban living themed around art. Designed for those who want the convenience and aesthetics of an ultra chic urban residence, the Galleries in Altadore is all about the finer things in life.

These 12 three story town homes really offer it all – great location, fabulous design and lots of extras. Designed with a focus on the display of traditional art, the main living space exudes a gallery like ambiance and the entire home features excellent wall space to hang your pieces. The design utilizes natural light and incorporates directional gallery-style lighting in the living and dining areas to highlight your art pieces.

Location wise, you’re just steps away from the lively coffee shops, bistros, and quaint boutiques of Marda Loop. “Assured was very particular about location. The flavour had to be just right – lots of mom and pop stores, bistros… and it had to be an urban, vibrant community,” says Alexis Bahry of Poon McKenzie.

The exterior of the Galleries hints at the exciting things to come. Commanding the central focus is a stunning sculpture, the winning entry, from Assured’s call for submission to the Alberta College of Art and Design. “The sculpture builds on the Galleries’ concept of the artist in residence and making living your finest work,” says Garry Leitch, Director of Sales and Marketing at Assured.

Extending the concept further, the interior of the show suite is completely draped in ACAD art. “The art is very eclectic so it was a bit of a challenge to pull this all together,” says Julie Okamura, President of Pop Design Group and the interior designer behind the project. But she managed beautifully. She even incorporated one artist’s rendering – a pair of bedside lamps - into the master bedroom furnishing schemata. “With all the art in place, it really feels like a gallery,” says Okamura.

Inside the look is clean, sophisticated and modern and boasts the latest edge details. The show suite is finished to spec, as will be all of the 12 units although homeowners will have a choice of two earth toned colour palettes.

The detailing is unobtrusive and sleek from the vessel bowl sinks and funky chrome and frosted glass light fixtures in the bathrooms to the frosted flipper doors and glass mosaic accent on the porcelain tile backsplash in the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances, five inch baseboards, textured ceilings, textured Berber carpeting and rich maple hardwood are standard.

The main living space on the second level is nothing less than spectacular. Here the space moves from kitchen to dining area to living area with beautiful motion. Gleaming chocolate stained hardwood flooring grounds the nine foot space. The living area features a wall-to-wall built-in entertainment unit that frames a gas fireplace. Designed to be completely flexible, the unit is finished in chocolate oak. Adding to the flow-through, the living area opens onto a charming Romeo and Juliet balcony from the living room and at the other end, French doors from the kitchen walk out to a large terrace.

“These homes work very well for entertaining and yet there is still lots of space to get away and find your private sanctuary,” says Leitch. The four spacious floor plans allow for a flex room on the main floor. The third level is a great retreat space and offers a master bedroom, a large second bedroom –excellent for an artist’s sanctuary - and two bathrooms – one being the master ensuite.

“Conceptually these homes demonstrate an understanding of an urban environment. Not only what you want from lifestyle but also the touches like an attached oversized single garage and wiring for an enhanced security system,” says Bahry. The concept must be turning some heads as future Galleries are in the works. Assured is just breaking ground a few blocks away on another ten limited edition town homes with the Galleries Marda Loop.  

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