By Connie Adair
Eppich House 2 is epic.
The West Vancouver residence, which the late architect Arthur Erickson called his most complete work, is an iconic Canadian masterpiece, says listing agent Eric Latta of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in West Vancouver. He currently has the home listed for $9.988 million.
The approximately 6,000-square-foot glass-and-steel residence appears to flow over the land like a waterfall, shiny and glittery in the sunlight by day and providing a warm glow at night.
“The legacy of this property, just like any piece of treasured artwork, is tremendously valued to the select few,” Latta says.
The four-bedroom, four-bathroom house was built in 1988, a collaboration between the accomplished architect and the forward-thinking builder/owner Hugo Eppich.
Eppich and Erickson visited the upscale neighbourhood (one of the most affluent in Canada, Latta says), with Eppich purchasing two Groveland Road lots so a stream would be part of the property.
Eppich then gave his architect a blank canvas. Once Erickson’s design was complete, it was Eppich’s turn. He had to “figure out how to create the bent steel that gives it its waterfall feel. It took 18 months of trial and error, and three years to build,” Latta says.
“Mr. Eppich has unique resources. He owns a company that has built rockets and satellites for the U.S. government…He has a twin brother who also had Erickson (design) a home, called Eppich 1.” It’s also in West Vancouver and is made of concrete.
Eppich wanted something different from his brother, so he and Erickson created the steel and glass Eppich House 2.
“This was created with all new boundaries in what could physically be done with the creation of steel and glass in terms of design. The curves of the steel, for example, had never been created before due to complexity. Mr. Eppich saw this design as a wonderful challenge to create this first-of-a-kind home in Canada, which he manufactured at one his fabrication plants after extensive engineering to make it happen,” Latta says.
The twin brothers started EBCO Industries. In addition to the steel fabrication company, Eppich has electroplating and upholstery companies, which enabled him to make all of the Erickson-designed furniture himself.
In a video featuring Eppich and lead architect Nick Milkovich, Eppich says, “Arthur thought it might be nice to make a house out of steel. Usually steel houses are just straight. In our case he wanted to make it different and roll it into the landscape. We liked it and so that’s how we got started with the steel house.”
Latta created the video over three days for his client.
To accompany the house, which after more than 30 years still looks new, Eppich built a coach house, designed by Milkovich. It was constructed at the bottom of the property. The most amazing component, Latta says, is that it’s cantilevered over the creek. More than $2 million was spent on the 600-square-foot building with a living roof. It was built on the spot where Eppich would sit and admire the reflection of the house in the water.
“It is always a pleasure learning the story behind a property from the sellers’ perspective; in this case Mr. and Mrs. Eppich. It is the story of the creation and history of the property, which communicates the authenticity to the buyer.
“The same principles relate at many price points in the market as well as in the luxury home market. Building a relationship with an owner and understanding the history and story of their property, in my experience, is invaluable. I believe that many of the clients I have had the pleasure of working with appreciate this as well.”
Latta has been selling real estate in West Vancouver for over 28 years, much of that time spent selling unique properties to a global clientele.
“Vancouver has grown into a true international marketplace. To date, I hold the record as having the highest ever recorded sale on MLS in West Vancouver ($20 million) as well as the fifth-highest recorded sale ever in Greater Vancouver, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver,” he says.
Movie buffs may recognize the home, used as a location in the Liam Neeson film Cold Pursuit (previously called Hard Powder).
Photos courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.