Andrew Beckerman's home in the Fairfield-Gonzales neighbourhood is one of six homes that are a part of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's annual House Tour on Sunday

Tour shows off unique homes in Greater Victoria

Andrew Beckerman is used to people staring and pointing at his house in the Fairfield-Gonzales neighbourhood.

Andrew Beckerman is used to people staring and pointing at his house in the Fairfield-Gonzales neighbourhood.

His home on Chandler Avenue is a contemporary-style home that is as unusual on the outside as it is on the inside.

“There’s a lot of people over the years who knew my house before they knew me,” laughed Beckerman.

Originally growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Beckerman was used to living in flat roofed, mud-covered homes due to the dry climate. However, after immigrating to Victoria 11 years ago, he was looking for a new home to settle down in.

Having built 10 homes previously, Beckerman hoped to build the exterior of his new home from material that wouldn’t require a lot of maintenance.

Enter corrugated steel siding, a type of steel, painted blue and silver, that is expected to last for 20 years without needing to be re-painted.

The inside of the two-level home is wallpapered with large sheets of rustic plywood, with half of the house sheathed in maple plywood, an inspiration that was the result of a six-week trip to Australia and viewing national park buildings in the country.

“When people look at the house from the outside they see this industrial look. The inside panelling is both elegant and warm,” said Beckerman of his 1,600-square-foot house, which includes a miniature Samuel Maclure stairwell with a skylight, lipstick-red doors and windows, and an extensive art collection which will eventually be donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

According to Beckerman, over the years the maple plywood interior has turned golden. As a result, when sunlight streams into the house through the skylight, the  house “glows.”

Beckerman’s home, along with five others in Greater Victoria, will be open to the public this weekend as part of the art gallery’s annual House Tour.

The homes this year, including three in Oak Bay and two float homes in Esquimalt, were uniquely designed by their homeowners for specific purposes, according to event chair Bill Huzar.

“They’re very liveable homes.  Sometimes (with the tour) we have what I would call unlivable mansions,” Huzar said.

“These are examples of homes that if you had the opportunity, you could pack up and move into.”

In addition to the tour, each home will host an artist for the day as well as custom designs from floral artists. Artists such as Lyndy Michie, Sarah and Robert Amos, Brent Lynch and Ken Faulks will be onsite and chatting with guests during the event.

The self-directed House Tour, which has been going on since 1952, takes place on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 and all funds go towards the art gallery.

For information or to purchase tickets visit aggv.ca/housetour2016 or call 250-384-4171.