Australian edition of the successful Grand Designs series has been
produced. Just like its UK counterpart, Grand Designs Australia
follows the story of a variety of innovative and clever builders
from around Australia. The series presenter Peter Madison is doing
an extremely good job in the 9 episodes in the first series but
unlike Kevin McCloud is still finding his feet a little.
The houses are all
very interestingly designed an built which reflects Australian
conditions. This is highlighted in every episode such as the first
episode about a building that is bush fire resistant and is built
from steel as its owner had their previous home destroyed in the
Black Saturday bush fire.
The financial stress
is obvious in each segment, the stress of finances and obtaining a
building permit for a house in the Northern Territory for a building
in progress where a permit was not required before, eventually
created a dramatic event, causing a heart attack for Trevor
Sullivan. Building is definitely a stressful process and this series
Australia Series 1 has looked at a number of designs, methods and
materials such as steel, prefabricated, panel and conventional
buildings. A number of innovative ideas were also employed such as
copper pipes in the cavity to pick up heat for water heating. Quite
episodes in series 1 were well selected from a wide variety of
locations and designs. Hopefully there will be series 2 to follow.
In the end, Grand Designs should be a must watch for all architects
or anyone planning a house albeit perhaps on a lesser scale or even
only for picking up some interesting ideas.
Bushfire House -
February 2009. Chris Clarke had just spent two years building his
minimalist timber and steel dream home at Callignee in Gippsland
when, less than a week after completion, it was burnt to the ground
in the devastating Black Saturday bushfires.
Very Small House - Episode 2
Architect Domenic Alvaro and his partner Sue Bassett are urban
animals who love the inner city suburb of Surry Hills in Sydney.
However their dream location comes with a nightmare price tag.
Southport Heritage House - Episode 3
When Jan and Ed Gillman bought a tumble-down weatherboard in
Southport, their first intention was to demolish and start again.
Clovelly House - Episode 4
Julie and Patrick Eltridge bought in Sydney’s beachside Clovelly
three years ago, paying $1.6 million for an old house on a sloping
Lake Bennett House - Episode 5
For 17 years Trevor and Francoise Sullivan have lived with their two
kids and numerous animals in an open sided shed on 33 bushy acres at
Lake Bennett south of Darwin.
Hamptons House - Episode 6
If ever there was an ideal place for a Hamptons house outside the
Hamptons, the Gold Coast hinterland would be it – wide open spaces,
balmy sea-kissed air and a sense of prosperity.
Fish Creek Church House - Episode 7
Nothing like an impulsive act to take you down a path you hadn’t
expected in life. For engineer Peter Riedel and his interior
designer wife Mary, their sudden whim was to purchase an 1870’s
church for $20,000.
Cottage Point House - Episode 8
Drew Muirhead is a self employed entrepreneur and man about town.
He’s building a Balinese resort style mansion in leafy Cottage
Indented Head House - Episode 9
Ian McDonald and Rob Wilhelm are not building an understated new
home. Theirs is a Grand Design in its most literal sense.