December 14, 2011
Three Enchanted Waterfront Homes Nominated for the Georgie Awards
Finalists in prestigious categories redefine luxury and all its trappings
BY LESLIE PETERSON
Although these are homes we may never possess, we can celebrate their beauty and imagine the luxury of life within.
Three such enchanting new dwellings – all waterfront – are finalists in the most exclusive categories: Homescape Building & Design’s Holler House in Penticton, G.D. Nielsen’s West Vancouver Serenity and first-time Georgie Awards finalist M. Knight Construction’s Windward Oaks in Victoria.
Eric and Vicki Gerrits’ Okanagan Lake beauty earned the company five finalist awards, including Custom Home Builder of the Year, Best Outdoor Living Space and Best Single Family Detached Home Valued Over $5,000,000. Situated on the lakeshore, the 8,000 square-foot house, clad in two-by-four clear cedar with mortarless, handchipped local stone accents and a lifetime zinc roof, required eight engineering specialists. A one-kilometre driveway was constructed down a vertical 100-foot silt embankment to meet emergency-vehicle access requirements. Concrete pads appear to float over a reflection pond leading to the front door.
The luxurious home features a sauna, steam room, wine room with elevator, home theatre, games room and bar, upper and lower laundry rooms and a caretaker’s suite. Bedrooms, separated by lounges, all have ensuites, built-in media centres, dressers and cabinet-grade walk-in closets. All ensuite walls are granite or engineered stone slabs. Sixteen sets of bifold doors create indoor-outdoor living and extend the polished-concrete floors to another 7,000 square feet of decks. A riparian plan was required to site the house, preserve marshlands and enable lakewater to be used for domestic water, irrigation, geoexchange HVAC and fire protection. In addition, a $250,000 sewage-treatment plant was installed.
On a rocky promontory on Vancouver Island sits what can only be described as a magnificent mansion. Windward Oaks, a traditional Oak Bay-style home by M. Knight Construction, was the judges’ favourite and the people’s choice at the 2011 CARE Awards (Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence), last September. Georgie judges selected this dwelling as a finalist in both the Best Outdoor Living Space and Best Single Family Detached Home Valued Over $5,000,000 designations.
Builder Michael Knight wanted the four-bedroom, 13,000 square-foot home to look timeless, as if it had always been there, with its slate roof, shingle, stucco and stone exterior. Its interior has been finished with stained, vertical grain fir, the living room vaulted with big truss beams.
G.D. Nielsen was inspired by the ocean setting of one of his three finalist homes in the Best Single Family Detached Home Between $2,000,000 and $4,999,999 category. In total, he earned eight finalist awards, including Custom Home Builder of the Year and Best Outdoor Living Space.
In his words: “The setting on the ocean overlooking the tranquillity of the adjacent islands was the inspiration. There is an amphitheatre seating area with a firebowl overlooking the pool and ocean. The green roof of the poolside cabana softens the harshness of the stone and concrete structure while helping to cool the cabana.”
The house has been built with all natural materials — slate roof, cedar, zinc and basalt: “Folding doors with concealed threshold meld inside with outside; a bright and airy feeling created by skylights running down the roof spine from outside to inside and back outside. Main areas of the house are on three levels but the way the stairs and landings are designed there are additional spaces on the landings creating essentially six levels.”
For a clearer picture of the Homescape, M. Knight and G.D. Nielsen homes check the photos on the Georgie Awards website: www.georgieawards.ca