4 min read

Designing The Kenten with Calgary Interior Designers, Davignon Martin


Markus Boguslavsky

Marketing, The Kenten

The Designers: Davignon Martin

The Kenten has been designed with Davignon Martin, an architecture and interior design firm from right here in Calgary. Richard Davignon, Principal and Architect, and Doris Martin, Principal and Interior Designer together make up the firm, specializing in multi-family, hospitality, and high-end residential projects.

Their varied experiences working on diverse projects – from apartments to clubhouses, hotels to houses – allow them to see the building not just as condos, but as homes. This mindset shift has influenced their approach to each unique floor plan, including entrances and views, leading to a more involved and personalized design approach. 

Elevated Design Inspiration

Many large builds and multi-family developments in Calgary draw inspiration from trends in other cities like Toronto and Vancouver. However, this particular building and project carve out its own distinct identity. 

With prestigious influences from the world’s greatest areas, including inspiration from New York and Europe, this divergence provides a unique opportunity for Calgary to cultivate an original architectural statement that could potentially impact and inspire other cities.

Davignon Martin’s design approach sets their units apart from typical condo building units – they consider them as homes. These units are spacious, designed with families and larger groups in mind, and cater to entertaining needs. They encompass expansive dining and living rooms, allowing for more occupants and guests.

The inspiration for their projects is often derived from the potential the project itself holds. In this case, the evolving landscape of downtown Calgary since Kensington's initial construction presents new opportunities.

“It's not just windows,” explains Richard, as an example, “it's actually walls that open up that extend the space, and the balcony becomes part of the living room. It’s an opportunity that was really important.”

Building Features

The building features over 8,000 square feet of amenity spaces where larger gatherings can occur. However, the real charm lies in the capacity to host such gatherings within the individual units themselves. The design places emphasis on each detail, leveraging the beautiful views that already exist.

“The way that we're looking at the design of these as a home is different than what would typically be provided in a condo building. The idea is that they're sizable and they're meant for families,” Richard says, “they're meant for entertaining and having people in. They've got huge dining rooms; they've got big living rooms. They've got space for there to be more than just one or two people that reside within them.”

This feeling of a family home is achieved not only by the size of the units but by their uniqueness and interior design. They offer multiple seating areas, games rooms, fireplaces, open-concept kitchens, and a flow that has been created to bring people together.

Beyond the units, the building features communal spaces, designed to create connections. There is a private gym, a stunning spa area with a hot tub and sauna, and a Sky Lounge which offers a kids' playroom, unobstructed views of the Bow River, games tables, a TV lounge, a kitchen and more. All of this creates the best spaces possible to share with your family, friends and loved ones. 

The Kenten Evolution

What began as a great vision has grown into something even grander, informed by community, design, and trust. It's a rarity for a project to evolve into something larger and better rather than undergoing value engineering.

The most significant transformations from the previous building are directed towards how The Kenten serves as a gateway in Kensington. A substantial architectural intent is applied to the part of the block facing the river and the entrance into Kensington, essentially reimagining what used to be the old restaurant and setting a fresh tone for Kensington's interaction with downtown.

Richard has some final remarks on the design process,

“You have to trust the process. If you're engaging in a true design process, most likely you're not going to end up where you thought you were going to end up. There are going to be new things that you're going to discover. There's going to be opportunities that you didn't think about.”
“So, in the process of this particular project in Kensington, there were quite a few key instances in the process that led us to make some changes … it's for sure an even better project and what was anticipated.”
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