Grand Designs: A Roundup of Home Properties of the Year – “Homes That Solve Problems”



Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud was once again joined by architect Damion Burrows and design expert and writer Michelle Ogundehin, to explore five homes across the UK that fought for the list restricted from RIBA. Each week, experts will explore homes in four distinct categories. Last week Kevin, Damion and Michelle visited homes made from “exquisite materials”.

River house

Living by the river is a dream for many of us but the reality can be much more brutal, especially when the weather is bad.

You may find your home flooded and irreparably damaged by water.

On a flood plain by the River Loddon in Berkshire sits River House.

Designed by John Pardey Architects, this property is long, high, and raised above the riverbank on two-meter stilts.

The house has been covered with silver siding with a contemporary and glamorous interior.

The property extends for 50 meters, end to end.

From west to east, there are three bedrooms, two offices, a terrace and a large open-plan living space.

There is also a guest bedroom with a bathroom to the rear.

This is the home of Tony, a semi-retired consultant surgeon, and Charlotte, who works in the art world.

The couple dreamed of retreating to the riverside and enjoying the thrill of the river overflowing its banks.

Charlotte said the patio furniture was “tied to the tree” and the other drills were “put in the garage”.

“You can’t have anything under the house,” she said.

“And you can’t plant anything, so gardening is really a wonder. “

Tony said, “You don’t realize the flooding until you live in it.

“It’s not like having a pool at the bottom of the stairs, it’s actually aggressive, fast-flowing water.

“If you go down the stairs in the flood, you really have to be really careful not to lose your footing.

“Get to the car, then drive to the stores, stock up on bread and milk, drive back and hope for the best.”

The property is actually an elevated bungalow and is “effortlessly stylish,” according to Kevin.

The house has 50 foot windows that stretch out to one side of the property, looking out to the surrounding countryside and the river.

The RIBA judges admired the owners’ “hands-on” approach, spotting their personal touch in the requested morning terrace at the east end and some of the interior details that echo the exterior cladding like the bespoke birch plywood cabinetry. spanning the hallway.

Kevin said this house goes “above and beyond”.

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House in Assynt

Located on the north-west coast of Scotland, House in Assynt is only accessible via a 13 km steep single-track road.

The “beautifully designed house” was designed by Mary Arnold-Forster Architects and was built off-site before being transported in small sections to its final location.

The house is built in three modules with different functions.

The front pod is an open plan living space with a kitchen / diner.

The larger of the aft pods houses a master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.

The last pod houses an additional bathroom and a guest bedroom.

Phil and Heather reside at the property and fell in love with the area after vacationing there in 2015.

Phil said: “I’ve always wanted a place somewhere in the middle of nowhere.”

Heather added: “There are certainly none of the attractions of an urban center.”

Phil said some people may ask ‘why did you do this? “

He said he loved “this desert”.

The couple had no idea what they wanted to build, but knew they wanted him to “feel good” on the pitch.

Having worked in the wilderness of Scotland for years, their architect Mary is at one with the remote landscapes and is passionate about their protection.

Mary said, “Who am I to break the ancient rocks? This is my feeling. I’m only here for a moment. Let’s make sure we don’t.

“I managed to knit the building between the two headlands without breaking the rocks.

The building rests on stilts, perched on a strip of concrete “barely there”.

On the outside, the property has a charred wood siding that is both dark and waterproof, helping the new building fade into its surroundings.

Inside, the property couldn’t be more different with strips of natural light and wooden surfaces.

The RIBA judges marveled at the entrance hall lined with pine and silver fir which gently leads you to a stunning lounge with a “view to die for”.

The property was built in a factory 70 miles away in 13 sections.

The sizes of the modules were built according to the size of the road on which they were transported.

A truck with a driver delivered the modules to their final location.

The modules were then assembled in just four days to create a remarkably efficient and energy efficient building.

Hove House

Designed by Turner Works Architects, Hove House is located in Hove, a crowded seaside town in Sussex.

The property is surrounded on all sides by dominant neighbors but is camouflaged with a green roof and a mantle of black bricks.

Inside, there are 5,000 square feet of glamorous and minimal living space.

It was built by real estate developer Paul and his wife Maria.

Paul said: “I considered doing architecture as a profession, but I found out early enough that I didn’t have the talent or the patience to go and qualify.

“The next best thing was to go and commission the architecture.”

Kevin described the layout as “clever”, neglecting the limits of a neglected sloping back garden.

To the front of the property is a bedroom wing which leads to the kitchen / diner, the living rooms and the master bedroom.

The facade wraps around a swimming pool and a courtyard that sits at the center of the space.

If the house had been built conventionally, the property would be eight or nine dwellings.

“We pay close attention to our neighbors and wanted to make sure it wasn’t an imposition,” Paul said.

The U-shaped layout allows the house to turn its back on those around it and creates a secluded sanctuary inside.

The RIBA judges loved the “seamless” flow between the tranquil courtyard and the interior living spaces.

The interior of the house is minimalist, open, bright and “perfectly white”.

The construction took 15 months and it was not an easy trip.

The project endured two of the wettest winters on record with one of the ground workers having his trench foot in his rubber boot.

Award-winning architect Carl Turner is the visionary behind this project.

The farm

This ‘ruined old farm building’ turned into a 21st century barn in the deepest Devon is home to Richard and Dawn who fell in love with its romantic charm eight years ago.

Kevin described the property as a “barn conversion like no other” with “farm echoes”.

Richard said: “When we first saw him we could just glimpse him across the field and he had that almost fairytale feel, quite enchanted with that ancient stone glimpsed through the mountains. trees.

“The spirit of the place immediately won us over.

Dawn described the building as “a castle”.

Their son Tom, of TYPE Studio Architects, was in the process of qualifying as an architect, so he turned his vision into reality.

Tom said, “I think a really good piece of architecture is really disciplined and understated.

“It’s about honesty and expressing the new and old parts of the building.

“Creating a home for people you know so well was a joy to do. “

When they first bought the building, there was no roof, the top of the walls were crumbling, trees were growing inside, and there was no soil.

The layout is faithful to the original design.

On the ground floor, where the cattle once lived, there are two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen.

The upper level is a living and dining room with a study and a shower room at each end.

Upstairs is a large open space uninterrupted by interior walls.

They respected the old hull of the property, and did not add any more openings.

Each item has a down-to-earth beauty and is simple.

The RIBA judges praised the way each new addition sensitively draws on the history of the barn.

The property has a ‘future proof’ design with lightweight sycamore room dividers that can easily be relocated for years to come.

Simple house

This home solves the problem of getting a beautiful custom home on a budget.

In a 1960s Cambridge housing estate, there is a bespoke house that cost owners just £ 200,000.

The owners of the property are Jenny who works in the theater and Aki, a doctor who grew up in Japan.

They decided to build Simple House because they were struggling to find a place to buy in the city.

Designed by Haysom Ward Miller Architects, the property has beautiful, simple living spaces, tailored to the needs of owners.

The house also features striking circular roof lights and gravel embedded in the concrete floor.

The house makes the most of a modest infill plot, taking inspiration from Japanese courtyard houses.

There are two walled gardens, an open plan living space, a master bedroom, a bathroom, a cloakroom and an office which can be used as a guest bedroom.

When the couple searched for a property in the city, houses were out of their budget as well as houses with gardens.

Aki said: “We were also looking for land at the same time and we searched for about three years.

“They come to Cambridge so rarely and eventually this one has happened.”

Jenny added: “I was really excited about the idea of ​​starting from scratch and in particular the idea of ​​making everything fit your size.”

There are subtle nods to Japanese architecture that are in harmony with the surroundings.

The interior is paired and minimalist with the unpainted walls and exposed beams to keep Jenny and Aki on budget.

The RIBA judges were impressed with the torque’s strategic deployment of their budget and standard of design.

Grand Designs: House of the Year airs tonight on Channel 4 at 9 p.m.

The episodes are available for streaming on All 4



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