used to process garbage into a craft brewery. These types of projects are on the upswing as cities continually redefine their industrial and corporate base, and therefore, their use and reuse of physical structures and assets. One word that Rapoport shies away from is “style” — style in the sense that she finds linking PLANT’s projects with any one manner of design is limiting. “We’re very process oriented,” she insists. “We don’t come to a client in the first design meeting and say ‘here is the answer.’. It’s a very collaborative process with the clients, but it also builds on itself throughout the project. So we start off and only show plans and ideas. We never show what the overall form is going to be to start with. So people are making decisions as the design progresses based on flow of space, connectivity, their lifestyle, efficiency of space, and so on.” Rapoport also admits that budgets for many of their res- idential rehabilitation projects can run from five to seven figures depending on the client and their needs. But she stresses that, regardless of budget, there are methods of making a difference in the synergy between house and land. “We are very conscious of making the space feel very open with good flow, long views and connectivity to the landscape. And we can usually do this within the budget presented to us.”

When choosing PLANT to design renovations, many clients have told them that their work, while modern and contem- porary, looks more “livable” than the stiffer, less inviting offerings of other contemporary offerings. Rapoport says they design with warmth and colour in mind. “There’s a kind of softness to much of our design. It’s still contempo- rary, but you can also feel OK putting your grandmother’s antique dresser in the space. We like to make sure we accommodate real life.” A large part of being able to accommodate real life, whether it be in a backyard on a residential street or in a grand public concert space, is dealing with the client on their terms. Rapoport explains, “When you work on big public projects, you work with bureaucracies and large develop- ers. When you work on houses, you are generally working with people who have never hired a consultant before. It’s a very personal process. What sets us apart is we are com- fortable working in both these worlds.” From boardrooms to backyards, PLANT is making a differ- ence in how the residents of Canada’s largest city interact with their surroundings. So go ahead. Take a walk through Toronto. If you find yourself in an inviting public space where you feel connected to the landscape, now you’ll know why!

“We like to make sure we accommodate real life.”



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