Friday, May 28, 2010


Do people want to mingle with other people from different social chunks? .. The answer shouldn’t be one of sentiment and humanitarian deviation, but one based on some realistic criteria – because upon execution – the [residential] project will either win or lose, it will either be comfortable for its users or not.
I was in a debate – a couple of nights ago – on a development that is under study. The development is going to be built near the site that I am currently working on (under construction).
The project I am working on was not studied on the basis of architectural integrity or aesthetic as opposed to economic / financial viability and profit – and against my personal beliefs, was sold based on its architectural drawings, before starting its execution. Here is where I come in. My job is to proofread the design, work on its development materializing it as its being constructed – this is not the most radically enthusiastic job in the world, but it becomes interesting when the line between two-dimensional drawing and 1:1 building execution blurs to negligibility. It becomes an immediate design-build process that is completely hands on.
What I appreciate about this project though is that it has a specific audience. It targets a certain middle class, newly weds and bachelors starting off in their professional lives – and is picky in the sales process. Now – the project being entirely sold before the commencement of its construction – the tenants are  from families that are somehow socially intersecting – in common circles or backgrounds that would suffice a bare minimum of trust / comfort between neighbors.
This being said, the effort taken to actually market and sell managerially was done with wishful thinking of a similar momentum in neighboring site developments, which brings me back to that debate, a couple of nights ago…
I was having dinner with people that bought the land right next to mine, and was interested to know about their plans for the area. As it turned out, they started their designs based on the assumption that they must vary the types of apartments within the project, so they reach to all social ‘statuses’ – here is when it all started crumbling, at least in my head.
Their plan is to design three modules of different sizes and prices, to appeal to everyone. It didn’t make sense to me, I mean – why would you take it on your behalf to rectify social issues that exist for obvious and very understandable reasons?
The only way that this strategy would turn out to their benefit is that they would sell the cheap apartments before starting construction – and with that money, pay for the cost of the construction of the whole project. What they don’t know, however, is that when the tenants of lower income start inhabiting the premises, their alternative target groups of middle class residents will shy away. The value of the estates will decrease exaggeratedly, as well as the estates in the vicinity.
I am currently working on two adjacent projects, one consisting of 12 apartments and the other of 4, all targeting the same clientele and still are under construction, having 13/16 apartments sold. It is not price as a number in vacuum that should be taken into consideration in such a situation, the market is closer to one of comfort scenarios. When you decide to buy your home, you buy your comfort and it is the duty of the building system to provide for that.  

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