What can be done to update a condo lobby?
Older lobbies built in the ’80s and ’90s often have oversized built-in planters filled with greenery that is struggling to thrive. Removing the planters is optimal as it allows for a whole new floor plan and layout of the lobby – with lots of exciting directions for new designs.
However, doing so has its challenges. Most buildings do not have a surplus of floor tiles or tiles used on some wall surfaces. Finding a match to a stone tile that is 20 to 30 years old is often impossible.
One option is to build over the planter, cover up the scars and then create an inset niche where a sculpture or decorative urn can be featured. Another is to remove the greenery (be it shrubbery or a tree) from the planter. This was done at Winfield Terrace in Toronto. An artist was then hired to create a collection of sculptures to sit within the planter, which was filled with rocks and sand.
Removing planters from a lobby may seem like a large undertaking but doing so will change the impression of, and breathe new life into, a building. It is a doable project; just think outside of the box, literally.
Anita Wiklém is creative director and founding partner at Wiklém Design inc. She has extensive experience and expertise in condominium refurbishment design.