We remember an island getaway with a distinctive shape.

Architect Jorg Helssen liked a challenge. The rocky, waterfront site he chose to build his home needed a generator, propane for heating and refrigeration, and its own water supply, and in exchange it rewarded his family with spectacular views. Liz Bryan toured this striking, wood-heavy home in 1976, and we’re going back for another look (although submarine-style, circular windows probably aren’t trending again any time soon). Click on the picture below to start the slideshow, and click here for more throwbacks.

Passage Island, a five minute boat ride from Fisherman’s Cove in West Vancouver, had no utilities. Liz Bryan writes, “The joys of island life are only to be had once several technical problems are solved.”

“The living room, built around a central fireplace, looks west and opens to a series of decks and out across the open water.”

Architect Jorg Helssen wanted a self-sufficient house. The sloped roof was “designed to catch rainwater which is stored in a 4,000 gallon cistern connected to filters and a pressure system.”

The spiral staircase, complete with rope banister, complements the house’s rugged post and beam construction.

The master bedroom in the loft is both cozy and close to the elements.

The floor plan reveals how the 1,000-square-foot house maximizes space.