Marrying art and architecture key to Charlesfort Developments’ designs

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Marrying art and architecture key to Charlesfort Developments' designs
Doug Casey of Charlesfort Developments / Photo” Jean Levac

Doug Casey merits his great reputation. So does his latest development project, The Merit.

A sparkling blend of thoughtfulness and design savvy, Casey laments: “A lot of buildings are just boxes now,” and he strives to introduce buildings of architectural interest to the market.

Several of his projects — The Continental on Cleary Avenue, Hudson Park on Kent Street, The Gardens on Bronson Avenue and The Merit on Lisgar Street — have an Art Deco influence, a fabulously unique design move for our conservative condo market. Why this style? It is classic; Casey compares it to a navy blue suit.

Casey is inspired by the marriage of art and architecture, citing travel as an influence on his projects. Of particular interest are Berlin, Barcelona and Tokyo. He admires Kyoto Gardens, the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art in Scotland.

When it comes to Ottawa condos, “a lot of people build shelter,” Casey explains, adding that we are used to “mediocre” design.

“I don’t want to just sell the sizzle, I think we’ve got the steak.”

At The Merit, Casey and his team have focused on details from everything like thicker window glass to filter out festival sounds from Confederation Park to custom Art Deco door handles in the lobby. Other great features are cleverly designed layouts with powder rooms far from living and dining rooms and nine-foot-plus ceilings, a feature Casey believes every building should have. […]