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Quality, driven by design, is an award-winning combination

Richmond firm proves the enduring value of exceptional quality
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Featuring a contemporary Pacific Northwest style and a custom-home feel, the award-winning Otto project was just the start for Tera Development. Photo courtesy Tera Development.

There’s nothing like hitting it out of the park on your first attempt.

Claire Wang, Tom Huang and their Richmond-based team at Tera Development experienced just that with their firm’s inaugural project, the Otto duplex townhomes in West Richmond.

Featuring a contemporary Pacific Northwest style and designed to give its residents a custom-home feel with an elevated sense of function and comfort, Otto received a pair of HAVAN award wins in 2023, before completion. The fully finished product garnered two more HAVAN nominations this year, not to mention four Georgie Award finalist honours with the Canadian Home Builders Association (B.C.).

While considered a relative newcomer, having opened for business in 2018, Tera nonetheless has a cohesive and clear philosophy that takes some developers time to establish.

Much of that is centred around creating functionality driven by design and a belief that home buyers are willing to pay for added quality, says Tera’s marketing lead, Alison Cowling.

Despite the market in Richmond being “quite price driven,” she says, Otto achieved one of the highest prices per square foot in the city, even compared to premium offerings from much larger competitors.

“Tom and Claire recognized there might be room for something different, so Otto came out of a belief that strong design would be marketable. There’s a growing cohort of millennials that were looking for that level of quality.”

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Otto emerged from Tera Development’s belief that strong design would be marketable. Photo courtesy Tera Development

With the success of Otto in its back pocket, Tera got busy with its next endeavour in Richmond, the more complex and ambitious Aviary. With two-, three- and four-bedroom homes available to buyers, the elegant 36-unit project is definitely a jump in size and scope from Otto.

That said, the functionality ethos central to Tera’s first project is a major component of Aviary, Alison says. In partnership with Formwerks Architectural and Christine Kardum of Kardum Design Studio, Aviary brings a contemporary, organic feel to the living spaces that speaks to comfort and intelligent design.

As with Otto, people embraced this investment in quality construction: the first phase of Aviary sold out quickly.

Having enjoyed success with its initial residential projects, Tera is branching out into the condominium market with a luxury mid-rise build in Vancouver’s Cambie corridor. The company is working with top local talents from Arno Matis Architecture and Ste. Marie Studio to maintain its design-focused approach.

“It is a step towards growth for us, to take on a slightly larger project in Aviary, and definitely a further extension into our Vancouver project as well,” Alison says.

So far, Claire and Tom’s stretches toward a positive future for their young firm are paying off.

Find more examples here of Tera’s work and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.