Passage Island Paradise!

Video: Passage Island contemporary waterfront home

Take the video tour of a spectacular waterfront home on Passage Island! This mouth-watering West Vancouver contemporary home will have you wishing you already held the deed to the property in your hand!

The home features 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and the remainder of a 2010 Home Warranty. PLUS, there is–as you can see in the video–quality construction throughout. Water is provided by an efficient rainwater collection system. All power is either propane or solar. Internet is of course available!

Passage Island is a 32-acre private island which marks the entrance to Howe Sound, and is only 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver. [For detailed listing and photos of this Passage Island property, see “36 Passage Island”.]

Take the tour. You’ll be glad you did. [For a private viewing, contact Stephanie or Dallas:  LaPortaProperties Group at Macdonald Realty.]

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Spectacular Vargas Island Waterfront!

Video:  FOR SALE Vargas Island — Lot B $14.5 million USD

Looking for waterfront property to build your dream home? Take this Vargas Island video tour!

Vargas Island lies off the west coast of Vancouver Island, 10 minutes from Tofino by boat, or even less by plane for a pilot skilled enough to land on the beach. [Check out the video below for a look at what that experience is like.]

Video: Vargas Island beach landing

This Island paradise is surrounded by Provincial Park, and offers miles of beaches, and old growth forest. Views of the majestic Pacific Northwest coast spread in every direction! Wow! is clearly an understatement. Few superlatives could touch what you’ll see here.

Could this be Western Canada’s most spectacular piece of waterfront property? You be the judge! Take the video tour (posted above). There may not be a more spectacular property on Canada’s westcoast. For those who want the best, and can afford it – this Vargas Island property is for you! This waterfront property is currently on the market for $14.5 million USD.

[For more information, see La Porta Properties Group # LOT B VARGAS ISLAND BB.]

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Breathtaking Kilimanjaro!

Kilimanjaro_2011 top

Photo: Mt . Kilimanjaro Care Canada charity climb (That’s me, Stephanie La Porta!)

“Take your breath away” moments happen not only in backyards, but on mountain tops! I know that for sure, because I climbed Mt . Kilimanjaro  to raise money—thousands of dollars—for Care Canada. That was 2011, and that’s my suntanned and happy face you see in the photo!

For more of what I saw when I climbed Kilimanjaro, check out Tusker Treks.

If you want even more, check out these views from the tops of the world a la Twitter wizard Maria Popova: Google Street View.  This is probably as close as many of us will ever get to Mount Everest’s basecamp!

Posted in Breathtaking Views

What Now for Whistler’s HemLoft Treehouse?

“Location, location, location” may be real estate’s universal rallying cry–but, for Whistler’s most secret and highly illegal HemLoft treehouse, finding location might be difficult. WHERE HemLoft is located has been a closely guarded secret. Only recently has novice builder Joel Allen decided to share–and share he has with media worldwide.

Here’s what the self-taught carpenter says about building HemLoft:

“When I started building it, I was just a fledgling carpenter, living out of my car. Building an experimental orb deep in the woods, with no electrical power, isn’t the recommended way to ease yourself into carpentry. However, I was armed with a couple of the most powerful tools a carpenter can have: blind naiveté and supreme determination.”

[Source: The HemLoft website]

Photo: HemLoft treehouse located somewhere in the woods of Whistler

Photo: HemLoft interior view to the treetops, literally!

The BIG problem with this treehouse is NOT ONLY the difficulty in actually finding it, unguided. The problem is, HemLoft is situated on crown land, an illegal “squat.” Though the actual HemLoft property is only 9 acres, the treehouse is still at risk of a teardown.

What do you think should happen to this masterfully-built treehouse? Visit Joel Allen’s HemLoft website and cast a vote: “So what is to become of HemLoft“! You can even make suggestions of your own. Maybe we can still save HemLoft!

Have a look, while you still can!

Video: Walking tour of HemLoft treehouse in Whistler woods with builder Joel Allen

The GOOD NEWS is that HemLoft Treehouse is STILL there, tucked away, secretly in Whistler’s woods!

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Living Well or Living Hell?

Video: Mukesh Ambani House Antilia 

This is the world’s first billion dollar home!  Mukesh Ambani, one of the world’s richest men, built it for his family . Here are details about the residence Ambani named “Antilla” [Source: Mumbai Mirror]:

Six Floors for Parking:
The first six floors will be reserved for parking alone, and that too for cars belonging only to Mukesh’s family. Space for a total of 168 ‘imported’ cars has been earmarked here.

Floor for Car Maintenance:
Sources said the Ambanis would prefer to have all their cars serviced and maintained at an in-house service centre. This centre will be set up on the seventh floor.

Entertainment Floor:
The eighth floor will have an entertainment centre comprising a mini-theatre with a seating capacity of 50.

Balconies with Gardens:
The rooftop of the mini-theatre will serve as a garden, and immediately above that, three more balconies with terrace gardens will be independent floors.

Floors for Health:
While the ninth floor will a ‘refuge’ floor – meant to be used for rescue in emergencies – two floors above that will be set aside for ‘health.’ One of these will have facilities for athletics and a swimming pool, while the other will have a health club complete with the latest gym equipment.

Two-Story Apartment for Guests:
There will be a two-storeyed glass-fronted apartment for the Ambani family’s guests above the health floors. One more refuge floor and one floor for mechanical works will be built on top of these apartments.

Top Four Floors for Family:
The four floors at the top, that will provide a view of the Arabian Sea and a superb view of the city’s skyline, will be for Mukesh, his wife Neeta, their three children and Mukesh’s mother Kokilaben.

Two Floors for Air Space:
According to the plan, two floors above the family’s residence will be set aside as maintenance areas, and on top of that will be an “air space floor,” which will act as a control room for helicopters landing on the helipad above.

The plan states that three helipads are to be built on the terrace.

[Posted by Stephanie La Porta/La Porta Properties Group at Macdonald Realty Ltd. Canada]

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Kotaro Ide’s “Shell House”!

Photo: Architect designed “Shell house in Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Think like an architect next time you’re on a beach! Do that and you might well come up with a house like “Shell House.”

This house is clearly inspired by Nature—a conch shell, in fact.  Designed by architect Kotaro Ide (Japan), the house was 18 months in the planning and subsequent creation. Not surprisingly, construction took two and a half years! Building such an organic and fluid shape cannot have been easy.  But, look at the result!

Photo: Skylights allow natural light into interior “Shell House”

Location for this property is Nagano Prefecture in Japan, where humid summers and cold winters can be a BIG challenge for more typical wooden structures. Architect Ide opted for reinforced concrete instead.

Photo:  Concrete structure draws a continuous line between courtyard and home

The house is raised 1400 mm, which gives a look of “floating” masses. Terraces all  incorporate wood into a more traditional Japanese landscape. The reason: to create balance between the futuristic, man-made look of the home and the surrounding environment.

AND “Shell House” was only planned to be a “vacation home.” I could live here year round!

Photo: End views of “Shell House”–an extruded conch shell with windows at both ends


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Somewhere Over Garcia’s Rainbow?

Photo: Exterior view of the “Rainbow House”

This house on Mulholland Drive, southern California, was originally designed for jazz musician Russ Garcia. When? 1964.  Architect John Lautner, master of “googie” architecture, was the creator. You might wonder: What’s “googie” architecture?

It’s modern architecture with a futurist spin, influenced by our car culture, the Space Age, and so-called “Atomic Age”.  Features include upswept roofs, curved, geometric shapes, and dramatic use of glass, steel, and neon.  Boomerangs, flying saucers, atoms and parabolic shapes are  prominently incorporated. Garcia’s “Rainbow House” is  a  prime example. The spaceship has definitely landed!

Photo: Interior view of Garcia’s “Rainbow House”

At the start of the 21st century the Rainbow House’s best days were far behind. Way too many “improvements” had robbed the house of its soul.

But now, things are looking up “somewhere over the rainbow.” Current owners of “Rainbow House” have had the house renovated by architects Marmol & Radziner, and decorated by Darren Brown—restoring that old 1960’s “playboy mansion” feel to the house. Wonder if that includes a “gold-plated” pot of gold?

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