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Get to Know: ACDO


Abe Chan spent a decade working with the globetrotting Yabu Pushelberg and, in 2014, started ACDO, his own design studio. Now with his own team in tow, Chan counts interior design and architecture projects all over the world, including Pedder on Scotts in Singapore, Avenue Road in Vancouver, and yes, even in our own backyard, where he recently finished residences in Toronto’s St. Regis Hotel and in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Let’s get to know Chan a little better:

Abe Chan - ACDO architecture

See inside Chan’s beautifully-appointed Toronto loft here. Photo by Scott Norsworthy.

Designlines: Where did you previously study and work? When and why did you start your own practice?

Abe Chan: I received my Masters in Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. I started ACDO in 2014. Prior to this, I worked at Yabu Pushelberg for 10 years. At Yabu Pushelberg you learn to become a great designer by channeling your energy through George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg’s design principals. When you are a part of their studio, you undergo a rigorous education that includes editing and refining your work and, of course, developing an eye for exceptional design.

When I started ACDO, I wanted to apply the same rigour to all of our projects, but our work is channeled through me. My upbringing included growing up in Hong Kong, Vancouver, Tokyo, New York and Toronto and we travelled extensively as a family. The design we create at ACDO is inspired by the cities in which I have lived, paired with each client’s aspirations and desires.

The absolutely incredible Avenue Road showroom in Vancouver. Read about this project here. Photo by Scott Powers.

Designlines: Is the studio architecture or interior design-based? 

Abe Chan: Our studio is interior-architecture based. I have a Masters in Architecture.

Designlines: What is ACDO’s focus, and what do your clients know to come to you for? 

Abe Chan: We provide services for commercial, hospitality, residential and retail projects. Our speciality is working with clients, operators or retailers who are looking for something bespoke and creative.

ACDO architecture

A stunning wood-clad sitting room in a New York condo development. Photo by Eric Petschek.

Designlines: What are some of the studio’s key strengths or trademarks? 

Abe Chan: Our strengths include interior planning, concept design, furniture, fixtures and equipment selection, developing custom millwork and bespoke material palettes.

Designlines: Who are some of your key collaborators? 

Abe Chan: For construction management, we work with Ripple. Erik Cabinets and Renca Heilimo for millwork; Moss & Lam for custom artisanal finishes. There are numerous local retailers we frequent, such as: Eurolite and TPL for lighting, Moncer and Mafi for flooring, and Ciot, Marble Trend and Stone Tile for stone products. We also count on Avenue Road, Kiosk, Büro Klaus and Studio B for furniture, and The Rug Company (at Avenue Road) and Elte for rugs and carpeting.

ACDO architecture

Incredible millwork in the form of a reception desk and focal wall at the Twitter office in Toronto. Photo by Scott Norsworthy.

Designlines: What sort of projects do you have on the go now?

Abe Chan: We are working on numerous projects now, including a residential project inspired by resort typologies and the water surrounding Niagara-On-The-Lake. We also have a rich and colourful residential project within St. Regis Hotel Toronto underway, and an extension to a hotel in China.

If you’re the proof-is-in-the-pudding type, read on:



Get a closer look at what you can expect to find in the 2024 New Builds Issue of Designlines Magazine

In the 2024 Spring/Summer Issue of Designlines, we focus on New Builds and “celebrate the profound impact of creating something new, not just as an architectural endeavour but as a testament to laying down roots and shaping the very essence of our city’s identity,” editor-in-chief Joseph Cicerone writes.



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