Arthur Erickson’s first masterpiece on sale

by Trevor Boddy / The Globe and Mail / Published in June 2007

 The “most beautiful house in Canada” is up for sale, and $10-million will net you a masterpiece. The Filberg house in Comox was called just that by Canadian Homes in 1961, soon after this airy, pavilion-like dwelling was completed.

The Arthur Erickson-designed house sits astride a spectacular bluff, blessed with one of the most astonishing views in the province: straight south to Hornby and Denman Islands, and past them on to the cone of volcanic Mount Baker, a hundred and sixty kilometres distant; east to the snow-capped peaks of the Coast Range on the mainland, and even west to the closer-in forests and mountain slopes of Vancouver Island.

With the possible exception of the West Vancouver B.C. Binning residence mentioned in last week’s column, the Filberg house has the best integration of modernist house with modernist landscape design in the province. The rolling lawns around the Robert Filberg house are deceiving, as according to Mr. Erickson, they are anything but natural: the slopes, views and shapes of the entire bluff-top landscape were altered by the client working closely with the architect.

“When I first arrived up there,” says Mr. Erickson, “Robert [Filberg]was on top of a small earth-mover, a caterpillar” scrapping and moving the soil of the prime ocean view land his lumber-baron father had long owned. Mr. Filberg had studied at the University of B.C. with Erickson in the early years of World War II, just … Read More