Condominium Design Contraints


  • In North America we use the imperial system, not the metric system, for construction 12″=1′.
  • Wall studs are 16″ apart on center (OC).

Utility Room

  • HVAC 20″x26″
  • HWT 20″dia
  • W/D 24″x28″
  • 30″ clearance required in front of utility appliances (in case of needing repairs)
  • 6″ clearance required around back and side of HVAC, HWT, W/D
  • Laundry sinks adds $5000
  • Utility rooms are placed near building core , not adjoining windows

Plumbing Considerations

  • Wet rooms are place near the building core, not adjoining windows (to avoid freezing)
  • Pipes are expensive. minimize distance by sharing wet walls for kitchen/ bathroom/utility.

Bathroom Considerations

  • Bathroom should be accessible from main living area because the condo might be small enough for you to walk there from your bedroom.
  • En suite master bathroom not recommended because it takes too much space and your friends will walk through your messy bedroom.
  • Powder room (2pc) by front door if included.

Hallway, Door and Light Switch Considerations

  • Minimize hallways because they are wasted space
  • Light switch inside room (except closet ) on door handle side
  • Doors open into room, against a wall if possible because space behind door is wasted

Kitchen Considerations

  • No window in kitchen- you’ll need the upper cupboard space
  • refrigerator cannot be beside the dishwasher or stove

Closet Considerations

  • You need a coat closet by the front door
  • Optimum depth for a closet with a sliding door is 18″
  • Closet includes a 12″ deep shelf
  • Hanger rails sits 2″ back from the front shelf
  • Minimum width for a walk is closet with shelves on both sided is 18″+18″=30″ walkway
  • Sliding door openings are typically 60″ wide

Window Considerations

  • Windows cannot be wider than 6′
  • Optimal width for windows is 4′
  • Windows must be more than 6″ from floor or ceiling
  • Condo floors are poured concrete, so HVAC vents are in the walls under the windows


Picture below shows my design of an 800 square footage condominium. (4o’x20′)




Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind was born in 1946 in Poland. In 1959 Libeskind and his family moved to New York City, where Libeskind attended Bronx High School of Science and later Cooper Union for architecture. In 1972 Libeskind briefly worked for another architect , Richard Meier. He and his wife Nina Lewis founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989. The Jewish Museum in Berlin was Libeskind’s first major international success. Some other notable works include the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin, and the Imperial War Museum North in England.

One of his structures includes:


New Lotte Mall


Located in the commercial and retail heart of the South Korean Songdo International Business District (New Songdo City) a 600 hectare waterfront development, Studio Libeskind designed the Lotte Mall to create a 21st-century live-work experience.

The New Lotte Mall is inspired by the aesthetics of Korean efficiency and luxury, with a form that is composed of glass, greenery and steel.  The round entrance and the broad site plan create differentiated areas, allowing for a diversity of light, lines and form. The towers are visible beyond the shopping center’s asymmetric façade, creating a balance between the low and high-rise structures.   The bold architectural lines of the New Lotte Mall serve as a visual guide for visitors, inviting the public to enter.

The New Lotte Mall is comprised of three integrated components that form a hub connecting private and public spaces. The site is adjacent to a central park and two major thoroughfares, and is linked to the subway via the main circulation artery as well as the primary retail corridor.

The massing of the shopping center has been lifted off the street to highlight its great accessibility to the community.  The raised volumes create an interlocking facade of multifaceted glass that anchors the main corners, instilling light throughout the public space.  The curvature of the volumes creates garden segments as well as a large roof deck. Public spaces invite those visiting the Multiplex  and the shopping center to experience quiet green space and a spanning view of the city amidst the curving forms of the Officetel and Hotel towers.

The Officetel towers’ diagonal verticality distinguishes the towers as two separate elements, while the 21-story hotel tower occupying the adjacent corner balances the composition of the site plan, forming a rational and elegant ensemble of buildings.

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, although he remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.Van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter whose work, notable for its beauty, emotion and color, highly influenced 20th century art. The iconic tortured artist, Vincent Van Gogh strove to convey his emotional and spiritual state in each of his artworks. Although he sold only one painting during his lifetime, Van Gogh is now one of the most popular artists of all time. His canvases with densely laden, visible brushstrokes rendered in a bright, opulent palette emphasize Van Gogh’s personal expression brought to life in paint. Each painting provides a direct sense of how the artist viewed each scene, interpreted through his eyes, mind, and heart. This radically idiosyncratic, emotionally evocative style has continued to affect artists and movements throughout the twentieth century and up to the present day, guaranteeing Van Gogh’s importance far into the future.

Van Gogh’s famous painting:

The Starry Night

Van Gogh created Starry Night in 1889 just thirteen months before his death when he was staying in an asylum at Saint-Remy. Starry Night is believed to show the view from his bedroom window. Van Gogh was a huge fan of nighttime and his passion for this was depicted in Starry Night and a number of other nocturnal canvases such as Starry Night over the Rhone and Café Terrace at Night. In the Starry Night painting van Gogh’s night sky is brimming with energy and it contrasts with the silent village below. The town he depicts in Starry Night is somewhat invented and the church spire brings to mind his homeland, the Netherlands.Van Gogh includes a cypress tree which is usually found in cemeteries and associated with mourning. This tree serves to connect earth and sky and this could reflect the artist´s own thoughts about death – that death is the destination of life´s journey. With Starry Night Vincent van Gogh moves away from the traditional Impressionist connection with nature and instead adopts a feeling of agitation. His swirling brush strokes give the impression that this painting is constantly moving and his palette is much more vibrant than in earlier works.

Pablo Picasso

Spanish expatriate Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as the co-creator of Cubism. A Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and stage designer, Picasso was considered radical in his work.The enormous body of Picasso’s work remains, however, and the legend lives on—a tribute to the vitality of the “disquieting” Spaniard with the “sombrepiercing” eyes who superstitiously believed that work would keep him alive. For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that contributed significantly to—and paralleled the entire development of—modern art in the 20th century.

When Picasso visited Horta de Ebro in the summer of 1909, it was his second visit to the village on the Aragon border, having earlier spent seven months there in 1898 with his friend Manuel Pallares. Horto, like Gosol was a quiet mountain village and here Picasso began a series of landscape views. These followed on from the paintings he had produced a gear earlier at La Rue-des-Bois, as well as Braque’s views of L’Estaque, One of the best known of these works, Foctory at Horto de Ebro, again draws heavily from Cezanne both in colour and form. One of the most notable features, however, is the way in which Picasso has happily manipulated the topographical features of the landscape. The chimney that appears in the background is, in fact, nowhere evident in Horta. Rather it represents a chimney used for burning olive waste, situated away from the village, Similarly, Picasso has included palm trees in this work, though no such trees grew in or near the village. Picasso has freely introduced these motives to serve the compositional structure of the work.

Factory at Horto De Ebro

Salvador Dalí

Spanish artist and Surrealist icon Salvador Dalí is perhaps best known for his painting of melting clocks, The Persistence of Memory. From an early age, Dalí was encouraged to practice his art and would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid. In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí’s first Surrealist phase.

Some of his works are:

The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting. The Persistence of Memory is by far Salvador Dali’s most recognizable painting, and there are many references to it in popular culture. Although it was conjectured that the soft melting watches were the result of Dali’s interpretation of the theory of relativity, Dali himself state that their inspiration was camembert cheese melting under the sun. The sequence of melting clocks in a disjointed landscape is the depiction of a dream that Dali had experienced, the figure in the middle of the painting being the face of the dreamer himself. The general interpretation is that the painting, which portrays many melting watches, is a rejection of time as a solid and deterministic influence.

The Persistence of Memory

Elephant is also a recurring image in Dali’s works. It first appeared in his 1944 work Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The elephants, inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculpture base in Rome of an elephant carrying an ancient obelisk, are portrayed ‘with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire’ along with obelisks on their backs.

The Elephants

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright was a modern architect who developed an organic and distinctly American style. He designed numerous iconic buildings. He was born on June 8, 1867, in Richland Center, Wisconsin. After college, he became chief assistant to architect Louis Sullivan. Wright then founded his own firm and developed a style known as the Prairie school, which strove for an “organic architecture” in designs for homes and commercial buildings. Over his career he created numerous iconic buildings.

One of his structures that interests me is the Fallingwater.


Notice that the warm glow from the interior lighting resonates with the autumn colors in this fall photo. Dramatic cantilevered terraces reflect the similar structure of the rock ledges below. Roomy terraces on either side of the living room on the main level, as well as the large terrace above it, create strong horizontal lines balanced by the almost unbroken vertical lines in the tower on the left (which in addition to stone columns over 10 meters tall, has 3 stories of floor-to-ceiling windows). These and many other clear horizontal and vertical lines in the house may be compared with the formation of the rock, with the horizontal and vertical of ground and trees, and with the water moving horizontally in the stream (Bear run) and vertically as “falling water” in the form of waterfalls (visible in the photo and downstream just out of view in this photo). The falls visible in the photo break at an angle, creating an illusion of water flowing out from beneath the middle of the house. The sound of the flowing water fills the house continuously.

Zaha Hadid

Architect Zaha Hadid was at the forefront of contemporary world architecture in the late 20th century.

Here are some of her works that caught my attention:


The Riverside

Situated, as the name would suggest, beside the river in Glasgow, The Riverside is one of Hadid’s most beautiful British buildings. The zinc-clad zig-zagging roof echoes the ripples on the nearby water of the river Clyde. Such a dynamic building is suitable for a museum of transport; both internally and externally the building meanders and flows around the space it occupies. Hadid’s unusual approach to the Riverside Museum has made it an icon of the Glasgow skyline.


Vitra Fire Station

In 1981, a fire crippled the Vitra Design Campus, about a decade later Hadid was commissioned for the important role of ensuring that this never happened again and the Vitra Fire Station was built. Completed in 1993, this was Hadid’s first realized project and with this small building she made her mark on the world of architecture. With the soaring planes of deconstructivisim and the interplay of space, void and line, Zaha Hadid has created what will be regarded as a pivotal structure in the career of a great architect.


Guangzhou Opera House

For decades, opera houses have been great representations of contemporary architectural style. From Paris to Sydney each one embodies unique elements of their age; the Guangzhou Opera House is no exception. Like great facets of crystalline rock, the opera house rises from the urban streets. The sharp, angular glass, steel and concrete hide the rippling interior. Like the hard wing-case of a beetle hides a tender body, so the exterior hides a soft inside. The glittering light of the ceiling and the acoustic design, make this site perfect for its purpose as a center for opera.


MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts 

MAXXI Natoinal Museum of the 21st Century Arts is a multifaceted space dedicated “to experimentation and innovation in the arts and architecture.” In 2010, this building of overlapping tubular forms won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture. Since then the Guardian has declared it “Hadid’s finest work built to date.” The curling tunnels, wide interior avenues, and intersecting walk ways give the building an aesthetic rhythm rarely seen in architecture today.

Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris in Switzerland on October 6, 1887. In 1917, he moved to Paris and assumed the pseudonym Le Corbusier. In his architecture, he chiefly built with steel and reinforced concrete and worked with the elemental geometric forms. Le Corbusier’s painting emphasized clear forms and structures, which corresponded to his architecture.

The photo below is one of Le Corbusier’s Structures called “Notre Dame Du Haut”.


Michelangelo’s Architecture

The architectural drawings required an artist to be experienced in his craft and as such most of these commissions came towards the end of the artist’s career, when his reputation and technical knowledge was at it’s highest. Michelangelo was someone who wanted to stamp his own personal touches on each and every project in which he was involved, as his architectural sketches and plans were no different in his regard. On certain projects Michelangelo would take existing designs from other architects and as his own ideas to push them up in terms of originality and technical qualities. One of Michelangelo’s key architectural projects was St. Peter’s Basilica, for which the artist made some key contributions on alongside other famous names of that time.

photo below is the project of St. Peter’s Basilica.



Michelangelo was a sculptor, painter and architect widely considered to be one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance period-and arguably of all time. His work demonstrated a blend of physiological insight, physical realism and intensity never before seen. his contemporaries recognized his extraordinary talent, and Michelangelo received commissions from some of the most wealthy and powerful men of his day, including popes and others affiliated with the Catholic Church. His resulting work, most notably his Pieta and David sculptures and Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings, has been carefully tented and preserved, ensuring that future generations would be able to view and appreciate Michelangelo’s genius.