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Unique mid-century modern home lists for $2.5M in North Vancouver

Built in 1961, the design is inspired by influential architect Richard Neutra’s concept for a California modern home

If you suddenly woke up in this home, you might think a time machine took you back to California in the 1950s.

That’s because this house was designed based on a case study for a California modern home by influential Austrian-American architect Richard Neutra.

On Friday, the property at 661 Windsor Rd. East in North Vancouver listed for $2.5 million. Dubbed “the Starlet House” by its listing agent, the 2,213-square-foot home features simple post-and-beam construction, a sloping flat roof and large windows that open up to a forested backyard.

“A true representation of mid-century California modern, the Starlet House was recently chosen to be recreated on the set of a popular U.S. TV show as the home of the main character,” said real estate agent Trent Rodney of West Coast modern. “Sixty-two years after she first appeared in North Vancouver, this Californian beauty is stepping back into the spotlight.”

Located in the Princess Park neighbourhood, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits on an 8,712-square-foot lot. The entrance is lit by a large skylight, flanked by a sunken planter. Inside is an open-concept floor plan, with large windows to connect to the home’s exterior.

The home was designed by B.C. architect Gordon Hartley, who modelled it after Neutra’s never-built Case Study House #6, explains Rodney.

“The Starlet House maintains these features and adapts them to a North Vancouver context, notably through the use of local cedar and granite,” reads a release.

“A leading figure in his adoptive state, Neutra’s influence extends northward as well. Between 1946 and 1953, he gave a series of lectures at UBC that left an enduring impact on an entire generation of young architects like Arthur Erickson and Ron Thom, who later took his design philosophies and adapted them to B.C.’s climate and landscape to create what would come to be known as West Coast style.”

Hartley attended UBC School of Architecture during the time Neutra came to give lectures. He designed various residential, commercial and civic projects, and opened his own practice in 1960.

Hartley moved to Kelowna in 1956, and lived there until his death in 2017. As a member of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society, he was involved with the Benvoulin Church Hall, the restoration of Guisachan House and the authenticity of houses and buildings claiming heritage status, according to an obituary. He received the Anita Tozer award as Kelowna Citizen of the Year in 2006.

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