Homes

House of the Week: $1.39 million for a Strutt house in Qualicum Park

Nature lovers and architecture geeks will ooh and ahh over this 4-bedroom home.

Address: 20 Qualicum St.
Neighbourhood: Qualicum Park
Agents: Charles Sezlik, Cindy Sezlik, Dominique Lafranboise, Royal LePage Team Realty
Price: $1,390,000
Previously sold for: $630,000 in 2003

The place
Laid out like a circular “deck of cards,” this unique bungalow drew hundreds of curious onlookers and design junkies to Qualicum Village in 1969 to ogle the construction process. Known as the Bormann House based on the last name of the original owner, this modernist gem was built at an estimated cost of $100,000 by celebrated local architect and bon vivant James Strutt. A circular stroll through the house starts at the family room and kitchen, then continues through the dining room, living room, study, four bedrooms, and a games room.

Spectacular six-foot-tall skylights light the hallway that takes the homeowner through the house on a circular path:

The history
The original owner, Mark Bormann, wanted his house to be an experience — one that celebrated nature. Architect James Strutt ran with that idea, designing the house to circle around a large maple tree that then formed the centrepiece of the backyard. The unassuming exterior is meant to blend in with its natural surroundings.

A view of the open dining and living rooms, which makes up two of the nine “segments” of the house:

The buffalo head and guns don’t come with the house — but that fireplace looks mighty fine:

Another view of the dining room — lots of dark wood but also lots of light courtesy of so many windows and skylights:

The compact kitchen is open to the family room:

Big selling point(s)
The cachet of living in a Strutt house isn’t enough? Then how about those crazy pie-shaped rooms, skylights throughout, and soaring vaulted ceilings in B.C. fir? Seventies fans won’t be able to get enough of the original ceramic floors and interior brick walls — there’s just the tiniest whiff of “Brady Bunch-chic” about this cool abode. Plus, it backs onto a ravine and stream, so there are no nearby backyard neighbours.

All that wood makes the family room feel like an upscale cottage in the city:

Lots of groovy angles — and storage — in this bathroom. There are four bathrooms in total:

The master bedroom takes up one whole segment — lots of room to sprawl:

The 2nd of four bedrooms has been turned into a library:

Possible deal breaker
The home’s raison d’être — that storied maple tree — is long gone, which might peeve purists.

Because the house backs onto a ravine and stream, there are no neighbours out back:

By the numbers

1.3-acre lot
$13,110 in property taxes
4 bathrooms
4 bedrooms
1 fireplace
2-car garage (6 parking spots in total)