Saturday, January 30, 2010

series profile: grand design by Channel 4

video topic: architecture and human connection
entry type: documentary info
entry no: 20

architect featured: mixed 

series host: Channel 4
video series: introduction to the series
Grand Design
Presenter: Kevin McCloud
Producer: Talkback Thames



description and preview:
(click "read more" below)

Grand Designs is a UK Channel 4 TV series covering unusual architectural house-building projects, presented by Kevin McCloud and produced by Talkback Thames. The series is also broadcast in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Germany. The properties featured in the series vary in style and design from underground homes to converted water towers, the only common factor being that they are all rather unusual or extravagant in some way. One project from the series was Ben Law's woodsman's cottage which was built largely with wood harvested from the surrounding woodland, using few commercial materials and predominantly free labour.


The Timber Frame Kit House, Newhaven

Tim and Julia designed their new house for a beautiful setting on the Newhaven cliffs in East Sussex, which they stumbled on by chance. The location was crucial in their decision to build their own home, though the couple also wanted more space for their children - they have two each from previous marriages and now a new baby.

The English Barn, Berkshire

Denys and Marjorie Randolph, who are in their seventies, built their first house 10 years ago. It was a large family home with an adjoining vineyard. Eventually the vineyard became too much work, so their daughter took over, and the couple have built a new house down the road.

The Co-Op, Walter Segal houses Brighton

This project was a co-operative venture - 10 young families each put in 30 hours of construction work per week.

In the process they earned the right to live in the houses at a greatly subsidised rent and, they hope, also created a ready-made community in an ideal setting, just on the edge of the South Downs near Brighton. Paul and his partner Jenny provided the impetus for the project. The couple had been living on the road as travellers and wanted to provide more security for their young daughter.

The Water Tower, Coleshill, Amersham

I think all architects want to build their own house, so I'm like a pig in mud,' says Andrew Tate, the proud owner of a 100-foot converted water tower near Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

The Eco-House, Suffolk

Rob and Alida not only wanted to build their new house from scratch, they also wanted to change the way they live to be true, in their day-to-day lives, to their commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment.

They found an ideal green-field plot in October 1997, in the heart of Suffolk, and received planning permission after three months' tense wait.

The Chapel, Cornwall

Jane and Gavin bought a disused chapel on the Cornwall/Devon border at auction. They were living in Birmingham - Jane working for Hewlett Packard and Gavin travelling to different jobs as a management consultant. The chapel conversion was their dream of escaping from city and office life to an idyllic spot in the country.

The House of Straw, Islington

Architects Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth bought their plot of land beside a busy railway line in Islington, north London, at auction.

It was a brown-field site, previously containing light industry, and because there were sitting tenants the couple had to wait for four years before they could start building.

The Glass-House, Doncaster

Architect Colin Harwood describes this huge glass-and-steel structure as a 'James Bond villain house'. It is also a family project: Colin designed it for his sister Lindsay and his brother-in-law Michael.


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