This article was originally published in the 2019 Summer issue of Invest In Style Magazine.

 

Michael Curtis was raised adjacent to the temporal and broody backdrop of the Southern Georgian Bay. Inspired by the curiosities of nature and design, Michael established Verge Select, a high design architectural and build firm.

 

 

Verge Select was founded in 2011; it studies the intrinsic relationship between designer and builder, a concept that has been explored over generations, and one that remains true to its practice. You won’t find fast and repetitive architecture in these projects; instead you will see that there is a harmony between designer and craftsmen.

 

 

There is an ever relevant connection between the maker and designer in the composition of high design buildings, interior spaces, and furniture. The Verge Studios support development and prototyping, and the production of fine millwork, lighting objects, and various other architectural elements including mixed media applications which are collaborations and produced in-studio with an emphasis on form and function. Verge Select believes that by engaging with talented trades their work is innately sustainable due to the quality of craftsmanship and a careful selection of durable natural materials.

 

Michael Curtis feels strongly about designing specifically for client needs, with a strong emphasis on topography. He doesn’t like catalogue designs either, and thinks that taking risks and solving problems is how you create new things. He maintains that subtle details in a project are created by addressing problems and that a project is made unique by creating solutions.

 

 

The natural environment is an example of endurance and strength. Materials that have been formed through pressure, heat and dramatic environmental events prove their valuability through what could be described as natural selection. Metals patina and timber will grey under the influence of the very environment that created them. Stone shares the palette of its surrounding. The building you create should relate to its topography as it borrows time from the site, and the philosophy of site planning should have an intimate connection to the natural contours of the topography. The inspiration comes from the land and that becomes complementary to the process.

 

The latest development project by Verge Select is the eminently anticipated Artisan On Lora Bay. Inspired by the rugged topography and natural colourations of Georgian Bay, this design project is elemental inspired living in its essence. Five unique residences are being designed and built without compromise, while celebrating the intrinsic core values of organic architecture. “This project really pushes the boundaries in our area,” says Michael. “Large cantilevered steel volumes extend over the sloped property, while the interior colour pallette is dictated by the environment through multi-storey expansive glass. The project is not influenced by trend but rather nature and we anticipate this concept will prove successful in creating a series of residential properties that endure through time.”

 

 

Verge is currently working in Meaford, Oakville and Toronto on some residential architecture. They also have two development properties currently in the engineering phase. One in the heart of Clarksburg, Ontario, 50 units on a pear orchard. The other is in the Blue Mountains on 22 acres that is going to be a Scandinavian spa-inspired 40 unit development.

 

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