Summer has officially arrived here in Ottawa. As the groundbreaking for The Azure condo building approaches, we reflect on the journey we’ve taken in reaching this very point. Over the years, we’ve constantly been inspired by how people live around the world and it’s been through this inspiration that we chose to bring our vision for a luxuriously iconic residence to Ottawa.
In bustling urban metropolises, opportunities for tranquility are both necessities to achieving balanced living and luxuries. With increasing urbanisation, a growing need exists for the ability to connect with nature, and escape the hectic and sometimes overwhelming stimulation of city-living. We sought to discover how green spaces can be incorporated with residential areas and found inspiration in some of the world’s most densely populated and culturally stimulating cities.
In London, seek and you shall find the Roof Gardens in Kensington, which have long been one of London’s most spectacular landmarks and sanctuaries. Not to be forgotten are also the exquisite private rooftop terraces of the stately residence at the Belgravia in London’s Eaton Square and The Knightsbridge in Hyde Park.
In Paris, rooftop gardens and terraces are abundant. They effortlessly take you back to a time when Paris’ 19th Century Bohemian roots stole the hearts of travellers and artists alike.
Hop back across the pond a little closer to home, and in New York City you will find different kinds of hidden escapes, topping brownstones and skyscrapers. From elevated parks and urban farms to luxurious rooftop bars and lounges. New Yorkers know how to escape the muggy summer months in sky-high style.
The Azure’s sky terraces gift the best of all worlds. Surrounded by unmatched views of the Ottawa River, Gatineau Hills, and Parliament of Canada downtown, it’s also walking distance to outdoor parks, the Ottawa River running paths and kayaking on the Deschenes Rapids. When the hustle and bustle of the city calls, it can be reached from The Azure’s entrance in just minutes.
Throughout the design process of The Azure’s residences, incorporating the incredible natural surroundings into the living environment was of the utmost importance. This residence was designed not only to be an architectural gem in Ottawa, offering the conveniences of urban living, but also to provide residents with an urban sanctuary within the city as well.
Creating an urban garden to incorporate into your living space adds so much more to the living environment, and is a therapeutic process in itself. There’s something indescribable to be said about waking up in a condo, in the city, and looking out of your floor to ceiling windows to a lush garden. Or, having friends and family over for a sunset dinner on a beautifully decorated and green terrace.
Downsizing to a condo doesn’t have to mean sacrificing greenery, blooming gardens and fresh vegetables during the warmer months. With a little bit of creativity and design thinking, what would have previously been a limited outdoor space, can be transformed into a beautiful escape.
The Azure’s maximized exposure to sunlight throughout the day is perfect for the 6+ hours of sun needed to keep plants thriving. For a full mix of herbs and flowers, think vertically when it comes to planters. Use old wooden wine boxes to plant a fresh spring mix of salad, that will keep growing through until the fall. And to get some tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and root vegetables growing opt for deep containers to allow the roots to spread out. Succession planting is also a great idea when space for containers is limited. Plant vegetables that ripen in sequence, with varieties that have short maturation times and by staggering out the plant times.
Travelling to far away cultural metropolis’ like London, Paris and New York is always a fabulous adventure, but even more satisfying is being able to bring it all back home.