a: pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts
b: correspondence, acc ord “lives in harmony with her neighbours”
c: internal calm : tranquillity
Yin and yang, feng shui, Chinese paper cutting … Harmony’s graceful tower has been inspired by these pillars of Chinese culture. Townline, Peterson Group, and architect, Foad Rafii of Rafii Architects Inc., wanted to bring something unique to Richmond. And they have.
Long screens resembling paper cuttings will embellish the sides of this head-turning tower. After reviewing proposals from more than a dozen local artists, a committee has selected three who have been commissioned to create the designs.
The architecture is eye-catching and unusual. “The building is rotated 8º from the grid of Granville Avenue, but the balcony edges are parallel to the street. So the balconies themselves are slightly angled,” Rafii explains. Designed with input from a feng shui expert, the building’s amenities include an on site concierge, an overheight fitness area and fireside lounge on the main floor, and a richly landscaped roof garden oasis above the podium level.
Chinese paper cutting, or Jianzhi, is an elaborate art that goes back to about the 6th century AD. Paper is folded and cut, using either scissors or knives, and then opened out to reveal a symmetrical image. It has a time-honoured link to architecture; traditionally used to decorate windows and doors, it was thought to bring good luck when displayed at the entrance of a building. Because of its well-established history, paper cutting made UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2009.