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Of the 521,000 single-family homes in a city of 1.4 million people, one ultra-luxury home has become the talk of the town.
The Geddes Residence, an 18,000-square-foot masterpiece within the city, is one of the grandest homes ever built by Calgary-based homebuilder Riverview Custom Homes. The construction company was recently named the 2021 Building Industry and Land Development (BILD) Calgary Region Builder of the Year-Small Volume.
Viewing the city from Crescent Road, with downtown and mountain views, the grand residence was featured on local TV, in Calgary Homes & Design magazine and recently won a BILD Award for Best New Home, valued at $2.3 million and more.
It’s a once-in-a-generation sight that Calgary residents hop in the car to go see it, similar to the $20 million Balm Mansion in southwest Calgary, built in 2000.
“The client came to us with a vision, and is telling us to ‘Build me great,'” says Chris York, president of Riverview, who founded the company in 2011. My challenge was to assemble a team that could meet their expectations. We were confident that we had the ability to shape the team throughout the entire process.”
Geddes Residence began as a Hilltop project, with a curved height and a south-facing glass facade that takes advantage of the stunning views. It has a pool, hot tub, gym and home theater room and is heated by a system of 11 boilers. The construction of such a house requires a large number of resources. The milling business alone requires the expertise of four milling companies.
“Usually these companies are competitors. We asked them to come together to form one team to carry out the project. I must say, they all did a great job, each of them delivered at their highest levels,” says York.
Like the Balm House, a sprawling 18,000-square-foot, 91-room giant built more than two decades ago on Pump Hill, the Geddes Residence is a steel and concrete structure. Mechanical systems rivaled those in commercial buildings and pushed the boundaries of York as a builder of apartment homes.
“This experience has given us a lot of ability to move forward. We have always been drawn to complex buildings, and this has been the biggest challenge for us. I am proud to say that our team executed it so well,” he says.
York’s experience prior to founding Riverview was in the luxury home sector. He started his career with traditional architecture, but as inner-city homeowners started pushing builders into more innovative modern homes, he wanted to get in on the action.
“I decided to build a show house in St. Andrews Heights. This sparked an influx of progressive new designs that I am proud to be a part of. I think it helped shape the future of many inner city communities,” he says.
There were two other BILD awards for Riverview in the 2021 awards. Best New Home $765,000 to $909,999 for Skyward and Best New Home $1,560,000 to $229,999 for Arches. Price categories do not include lot price or GST.
Skywards is a tunnel in the southwest quarter of Altador built for a young family. The house, with its vaulted ceiling and banks of windows at the back, is bathed in natural light.
He says the luxury home called Arches, located in the southwest community of Aspen, will be a landmark for years to come.
“The architecture is so impressively displayed on the hill it’s on. It’s also built for a family and really pushes the boundaries of residential architecture. The structural systems, retaining walls, glass and mechanical systems as well as amenities like a sports field, swimming pool and golf simulator, make it one of a kind.”
Points earned from Riverview’s wins and nominations contributed to her fifth Builder of the Year title. This recognition, given how the pandemic had faced so many builders in Calgary, was an honor that Yorke noted.
“When you surround yourself with talented and creative people, great things happen. I am humbled by the dedication our team at Riverview has with every home we build. They create with conviction, weather adversity, and problem solver, month after month. I want to thank each and every one of them for Their passion is making us a great construction company,” he says.
Geddes Residence is built on two plots in the city on a ridge. With significant excavation development and dwindling availability, many ridge communities such as Crescent Heights, Briar Hill, Hounsfield Heights or St. Andrews Heights, York sees people investing in homes similar to large estates in other nearby areas.
“I think property values in areas like Pumphill, Kelvin Grove, Mayfair, Scarboro, Varsity, Edgemont and Foothills Estates will continue to rise due to depletion of hillside land near downtown,” he says.