Quattro development in Surrey designed to 'stand the test of time'

Tien Sher Group's Charan Sethi says he tasked the architects to design buildings that will still look good in decades to come.


As Q5, the last building in Tien Sher Group’s Quattro development in Whalley, Surrey, reaches the market, Charan Sethi, who started the land assembly for the site 16 years ago, is seeing his vision of a master-planned community, sketched on paper, come to fruition.

Sethi, president of Tien Sher Group, recalls he often drove by the site on 138 Street. One day he decided to call the number on the faded For Sale sign and ended up buying the property. Later he purchased other land in the vicinity of the first acquisition and now has almost three city blocks in the neighbourhood.

He recalls that when he first purchased the land, proximity to the Gateway SkyTrain station wasn’t perceived as being as valuable as it is now.

“I wanted to create more than just housing; I had a vision for commercial space and homes to co-exist in the area,” says Sethi.

To date, Tien Sher Group has built 742 homes in the Quattro block with the six-storey Q5 at 10777 – 138 Street, Surrey, set to add another 141 to development.

Affordability was the major influence on the design of the Q5 collection of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes.

Buyers can choose from Warm or Cool palettes for the finishing touches in homes at Q5. PNG

“We looked at what people were paying for rent – for example, people working in retail – and then worked backwards,” says Sethi, noting his own working-class background as a machinist.

“I know how tough it is to buy a place of your own,” he adds.

It took some persuasion from Sethi to align Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the banks with his vision for the project, where units range from 338 to 1,037 square feet.

Q5 will include several amenity spaces designed to encourage residents to gather and build a community, says Sethi. These include a gym, yoga studio and games room. There is also a lounge, where a double-sided fireplace will enable residents to enjoy the fire from different parts of the room while it also forms a natural divide, allowing several groups to comfortably enjoy the space at the same time.

The workspace is designed to accommodate the increasing number of people who work from home.

“Rather than always working in your own condo, you can go downstairs – there are desks with electrical and USB outlets for your devices – make calls and be around other residents,” says Sethi.

The party room with kitchen facilities, a dining area and lounge seating extends to the courtyard, where there are a kids’ playground and community garden plots for green-thumb residents. Outside, a landscaped garden with a pergola and barbecue will be a popular setting for outdoor entertaining.

Q5’s contemporary architecture is designed for longevity. With all the buildings in the Quattro block designed by Keystone Architecture, Sethi says he tasked the architects to design buildings that will still look good in decades to come.

There will be a kids’ playground, community garden plots, landscaped gardens and a barbecue available for residents to enjoy at Q5. PNG

“We didn’t want anything ultra-modern – looks come and go, we wanted the building to stand the test of time,” he says.

Brenda Chiu and Kulpreet Warraich, principals at Area 3 Design, made the most of the interior space by using several designer tricks and techniques.

“We wanted to maximize the floorplate, so instead of using different materials, we used a wide-plank laminate throughout. It makes the [home] feel more spacious,” says Chiu, while Warraich adds that avoiding the traditional carpeting in bedrooms is an advantage for people who may have allergies.

Warraich also points out the team did not visually divide the kitchen from the living space with pendant lights above the islands or peninsulas, opting instead for flush-mounted pot lights and added Lazy Susan’s to maximize space in corner cabinets.

The walls and trim in the units are also painted one colour throughout; Pure White by Sherwin Williams, another designer trick to make the space feel light and airy.

Chiu and Warraich curated two colour schemes for the interiors with hues and materials selected to create a modern and streamlined design with some personality while being neutral enough to accommodate each homeowner’s style.

Buyers can choose from the Warm or Cool palettes. The Warm scheme features a two-tone kitchen with lower cabinets in a dark taupe colour, while the laminate finish on the uppers is reminiscent of rift-cut wood with its signature vertical grain.

In the Cool option, the uppers have a washed oak look, while the lower cabinets are grey to complement the grey tone of the floor.

The practical and durable quartz countertops in the kitchen are enhanced by the backsplash, two by eight-inch tiles laid vertically for an elegant and modern look in the space, while open shelving allows residents to add their own flair with accessories and cookbooks.

Major kitchen appliances include a 27-inch counter-depth refrigerator with freezer, a 24-inch range and dishwasher. The washer and dryer are by Samsung.

Reflecting on the Quattro development and Q5 in particular, Sethi says it is the community itself that is most inspiring for him.

“It’s more than a building; it’s how the community is coming together, what’s happening, the gathering in the social areas is important to me, it makes me feel good,” he says.


Project address: 10777 138 Street, Surrey

Developer: Tien Sher group of Companies

Architect: Keystone Architecture

Interior designer: Area 3 Design

Project size: 141 homes

Number of bedrooms: Studio, 1-,2- and 3-bedrooms

Price: From $229,900

Sales centre: #114-10768 Whalley Blvd., Surrey

Centre hours: Open daily 12 noon to 5 p.m. (closed Fridays).

Phone: 604-581-8000

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