116 N. Straughan St. and 803 E. Bannock St. 

First unit: 2,775 sq. ft.: 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths; Second unit: 1,600 sq. ft.: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths

116 N. Straughan St. and 803 E. Bannock St.

First unit: 2,775 sq. ft.: 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths; Second unit: 1,600 sq. ft.: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths

$1,199,000 for the whole building

Built in 2004

Lot size about 100' x 100'

Designed by architect Elizabeth Cooper

Heritage Real Estate, Inc.: Tami McHugh, 208-855-9848, 116NStraughan.com

"This is not going to be an ordinary house tour," I think as I walk up to this beautiful but boxy, two- and three- story Bauhaus-style home in the East End. The stucco walls are taupe, relieved only by taupe-colored metal. The window sizes vary; some large, some very small. Thank goodness for the warm, wooden front doors.

But then, the interior is even more forbidding than the outside. The floors are polished, dark gray concrete, the ceilings corrugated metal, and the doors are heavy sliding barn doors. Down the wooden stairs to the lowest level, I see a two-car tandem garage engineered to be a four-car garage with the simple addition of a garage lift. Also on the lower floor are two bedrooms and doors to an outside court. Off the first bedroom is a combination closet and bathroom with an amazing sunken hot tub. The second bedroom is a child's room with a ladder and a loft above. A hallway bathroom completes this floor.

The only warmth comes from the wood cabinets in the kitchen and a small wood stove. The entire building, including the garages, is heated by geothermal radiant floor heat. The big kitchen boasts two breakfast bars, stainless-steel appliances, matte granite and/or stainless-steel countertops and decorative colored pendant lights over the bar. Behind the kitchen is a utility room with storage and a half bathroom, and off the kitchen, sliding glass doors lead to a lovely back patio.

All of these extremes exist because the house is designed in the Bauhaus style of architecture, which was developed in Germany from 1919 to 1933. This style rejected bourgeois details in favor of the principles of classical architecture in its pure form with no ornament. It emphasized functionality, asymmetry (seen in the different sizes and placements of the windows in this house) and an open floor plan.

Continuing up the stairs to the master suite with a big bedroom: The master bathroom is the twin of the one on the first floor minus, the sunken tub. All the hot water faucets provide geothermal hot water so the new owners will get an economical hot water and heating system for only $290 a year. Near the bedroom and the bathroom is a room for exercise equipment, an office or a sitting area. Sliders lead from this bright room to a great deck overlooking the Foothills and lovely Bannock Street with its trees and charming older homes.

On the first level, there's a graveled, stone-covered patio where outdoor furniture could be placed and to which exterior stairs from the second floor kitchen deck lead. There's not much yard, but it is beautifully landscaped in bamboo, big bushes, thickly planted perennials, grasses, stone retaining walls, even some vines on a dark gray steel trellis.

Attached to this unit is a second townhouse with two bedrooms and two baths and a two-car traditional garage.

Pros: If you want to live in the most unusual house on the block, this home is for you. I'd live in it in a minute. It is very well-suited for entertaining and has next to no yard maintenance. The several balconies are wonderful. I love the many-windowed kitchen. This "green" home has extremely good roof and wall insulation and many water-saving features.

Cons: New owners will have the challenge of decorating the stark interior. I would start with big plants, lots of primary-colored objets d'art, furniture, carpets and a good interior designer.

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