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done deals vancouver

Ambleside, West Vancouver

1812 Palmerston Ave.

Asking price $5,695,000

Selling price $4,750,000

Previous selling price $2,375,000 (2003)

Taxes $12,741 (2009)

Days on market 196

Buyer's agent Jonathan Goodwill, Dexter Associates Realty

The action: Arthur Erickson is known as one of Canada's most influential contemporary architects and when he designed this 4,754 sq. ft. home in 1972 for the Eppich family, it fast became an iconic residence featured in architectural magazines around the world.

The house was originally constructed as a four-bedroom family home but was renovated into a three-bedroom by the previous owners.

"Because of the unusual layout, the smaller number of bedrooms, as well as the lack of a big ocean view, which is more typical of higher-priced homes in West Vancouver, this home had been on the market for over six months without attracting an offer," says agent Jonathan Goodwill.

"We were able to negotiate an excellent price for what is considered an iconic piece of architecture by one of Canada's most famous architects, sited on an exceptionally large lot in the heart of Ambleside," he says of the sale which closed Oct. 14th for $945,000 under the list price.

What they got: The home showcases many of Erickson's signature contemporary design elements including, "sandblasted concrete exterior surfaces, the use of clear cedar both indoors and out, floor to ceiling windows, floating concrete staircases with the treads cantilevered out from the walls, seamless indoor/outdoor living spaces, a reflecting pond, and a sense that the structure has been part of the landscape for ever," says Mr. Goodwill.

The home has been updated over the last five years. The previous owners added double glazed full height commercial grade windows and sliding doors and replaced all of the exterior cedar beams and posts and the roof. They also updated the mechanical, electrical, heat and hot water systems. New hardwood flooring has been laid on the lower level, and the bathroom and kitchen fixtures have been replaced.

"Private terraces add considerably to the finished area, effectively eliminating any barrier between indoors and out and drawing the landscape into the home," says Mr. Goodwill.

"The property includes a creek that feeds a reflecting pond, which is beautifully landscaped with a small beach, reeds and lily pads and provides a home for local and migrating birds. An infinity edge outdoor pool seems to cascade from the terrace into the pond. Specimen rhododendrons, old growth firs, and an eclectic collection of sculptures complete the landscape," he adds.

The agent's take: "The buyers, serious fans of contemporary architecture, fell in love with this home and the grounds, a 1.1-acre park-like setting in Ambleside, offering incredible privacy and extensive outdoor living areas," says Mr. Goodwill.

The new owners have plans for some minor renovations.

"Originally built as a family home with a three-bedroom children's wing on the upper level, an extensive living area in the middle, and a den and master suite on the lower level, my clients plan to renovate in order to add a nanny suite, and make the home suitable for a growing family once again," he says.

A home in this price range is often valued for its ocean views and number of bedrooms, says Mr. Goodwill. For this home, it was about waiting for the right buyer.