Mediterranean charms have arrived at Sun Rivers with an architectural theme exemplified by this year's Y Dream House.
The corner estate-lot home at 3001 Visáo Court, which opened to the public on the weekend, exudes an Old-World warmth from the top of its clay-tile roof to the polished concrete of its main-floor living area.
"It's built as a Tuscan-style home to fit into the Mediterranean subdivision Sun Rivers is developing," said Darcy Harris, funds development and communications manager for the Kamloops Y.
The energy-efficient, Built Green home stands near the height of the new subdivision, Visáo (pronounced vis-ay-oh), a Portuguese word meaning "the view." While that aspect, a panorama of the city, is a key attraction of this home, it's almost forgotten amid the interior luxury.
"A lot of people anticipate the Dream Home," Harris said as she prepared to host an orientation tour for volunteer hosts. "We usually have several thousand people through a year."
In keeping with past Y Dream Lottery homes, this one's the product of a partnership between the Canadian Home Builders of the Central Interior (CHBA) and TRU Trades and Technology and Sun Rivers.
Building trades students did much of the foundation, framing, electrical and plumbing work.
"These students just love working on a project of this nature and stature," said Lindsay Langill, dean of trades and technology. "This is a project not replicated anywhere else in Canada."
The collaborative project last year earned a provincial Georgie Award as best public-private partnership project, an honour for which it has been nominated every year since 2005.
"Not counting the Equilibrium home (2009's Y Dream Home at Sun Rivers), it's the biggest and fanciest home we've built," said Patsy Bourassa, executive officer of the CHBA.
And with an early start — the home is open Wednesday to Friday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. as well as Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. — interest in ticket sales is already percolating.
"We're hoping to sell out this year," Harris said.
With an estimated market value of $750,000, the 2,900-square-foot home features a two-car garage fronted by a cobblestone driveway and an outdoor fireplace on a front patio. The property is located on a new street along the 11th fairway
CHBA was listening to market feedback. As a two-storey home with ground-level entry, it's distinguished from a market norm that has mature buyers seeking ranchers.
"We were trying something different," Bourassa noted. "The living area is downstairs because that is what they wanted, but we've got stairs, and stairs are an issue, so we put in a residential elevator."
Similarly, the extra-wide doors and hallways are designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
An oversized door leads to a spacious living area with10-foot celings and a curved staircase leading to two bedrooms, a den and a fitness room on the second floor. A two-person elevator, wide enough for a wheelchair, also accesses the second floor.
"Just to show that a two-story house is still accessible as you're getting on in life," said Ken Dueck, co-ordinating contractor.
The kitchen features a walk-in pantry and a wine closet, both featuring custom-made, wrought-iron doors created by a pair of local women, We Are Welders. Excel Industries has installed a custom-built credenza that faces the kitchen, which is also fitted with a wood-finished range hood.
The same ironwork graces the curved staircase. Oversized window casings, arched doorways, "hand-scraped" hardwood flooring (with radiant heating), as well as marble work and stone tiling in the master bath, add to the Italian feel.
As with past Y Dream homes, this one comes fully equipped with appliances and state-of-the-art energy efficiency features along with the geothermal heating characteristic of Sun Rivers homes.
Tickets, $100 each or five for $400, are on sale until July 3 at retail outlets around town or online at www.ydreamhome.com.
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