Thursday, 22 December 2011

Star homes: Ditch the dust with a ready made Grand Design

If you love the Grand Design life, but don't want the hassle of a huge building project then take a look at these homes which have all featured on Kevin McCloud's property programme and are now for sale or rent

The homes on Grand Designs are definitely not for everyone –remember the Monmouth Gothic House? But even those who are looking for an unusual home might be put off by the prospect of spending buckets of cash and many months on their own renovation project. Good news then as many of the homes featured on the show are now on the market or availlable to rent. We pick our top Grand Designs.

The Long House / The Oak Framed House
Where: Barbour Road, Kilcreggan, Scotland
When: Series 4, 7 (2004)
What: It's a traditional timber-framed house fashioned from hefty oak beams, but it sure doesn't look one. That's because the medieval cruck-frame method is here combined with 21st century materials that are more typical of urban lofts: concrete, steel, zinc and glass.
It shouldn’t really work, but the result of this improbable hybrid is a spectacularly light and spacious home with full-height windows that make the most of heart-stopping views of the Isle of Arran.
How much:  offers in the region of £395,000

The Cruciform House (Brock House)Where: Lambourn Valley, Berkshire
When: Series 2,5 (2001)
What: Another magnificent oak-framed home that combines timber traditionalism with extensive glazing.
The site, high on the Berkshire Downs, dictated the complex cruciform shape, which was intended to provide sheltered areas at different times of the day.
It’s a huge and light filled home with soaring ceilings, a barn-like feel and sweeping views over the Lambourn Valley. We’re not surprised that it’s said to be one of Kevin McCloud’s all-time favourites.
How much: £1,400,000 (guide price)

Collage House, LondonWhere: London W10
When: 2007 Grand Designs award for best remodelled house
What: A stunning piece of work acclaimed architect Jonathan Tuckey, a specialist in the alteration and remodelling of existing buildings.
Originally a steel workshop, Tuckey, who previously worked with David Chipperfield, has set up a brilliantly executed contrast here between polished concrete, wood and glass and the more weather-beaten exposed brickwork of the old warehouse.
He created this space as his own home, which is built to open out onto an enclosed secret garden with a relaxing pond.
“What a piece of magic,” said Grand Designs’ judge Tom Dychoff. And so it is.
How much: £5200 per month

Cecil House / The Bath Kit House Where: Bath, Somerset
When: Series 8,6 (2008)
What: In a memorable episode, this luxurious home was built by Tiffany and Jonny Woods, who were dogged by a steeply sloping site, atrocious weather and collapsing walls.
They spent a heart-stopping £300,000 clearing the site of tonnes of earth and then brought in German kit house manufacturers Baufritz to construct curvaceous and colourful eco-friendly home with top notch specifications - including a beautiful elliptical staircase.
"A well-made healthy house that promotes well-being," mused an impressed Kevin McCloud, and who are we to disagree?
How much: £2,195,000

The Regency  CottageWhere: Hove, Sussex
When: Grand Designs Indoors 2001 1, 6
What: Hayley and Pedro Castle redesigned the interior of their Regency cottage in Hove with the help of friend and architect Alan Philips – a hardcore modernist who had previously redesigned Bono’s house in the South of France.
This project had a shoe string budget (£23,000) and threw up all sorts of problems (planning permission, damp, structural problems etc) but the result is a delight: a fun and funky home with light, space, plenty of colour and a quirky sense of humour.
“If this project's taught me anything it is that miracles can be worked,” Kevin McCloud. Especially if you have a good mate who’s an amazing architect.
How much: £1450 pcm

The Eco Pod Where: Can be added to any garden
When: Series 10, 8 (2010) and Grand Designs Live 2010
What: Funky little 500 sq ft pods that can be dropped into any garden – perfect if you’re looking for some extra living space, a cool home office or a personal retreat from the world.
The low tech pods are made entirely from timber, including English chestnut shingles and Douglas Fir stilts, and are 75% recyclable. Very cool.
They are designed by Robert and Milla Gaukroger, who also designed the impressive Dome House, Lake District House in Series 10.
How much: £65,000

The Eco House 
Where: Carmarthen, Wales
When: Series 5, 7 (2005)
What: An experimental eco-friendly house in the Black Mountains in Wales that used a lime-based concrete screed the builders were unfamiliar with. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The clients had a major bust up with the architect, but in the end the house came through and wowed Kevin McCloud, who enthused:
“This is an affordable, environmentally friendly house, and it's not hairy! It's cool and sharp and contemporary. That, I think, makes it pretty exemplary.”
How much: Offers in the region of £455,000


Stillwater (The Loch House)Where: Killearn, Scotland
When: Series 6, 19 (2006)
What: A stunning lakeside house that, like so many Grand Designs, cleverly marries the traditional and the contemporary.
From the outside the slate pitch roof and stone cladding wouldn’t attract a second glance, but inside it’s a different matter: floor-to-ceiling windows, a floating glass staircase and a master bedroom up in the rafters with serene and far-reaching views over shimmering water.
How much: £1,500,000
Shoreditch Prototype HouseWhere: Shoreditch, London
When: Best Eco House, Grand Designs awards 2009
What: A light-filled urban house designed as a live/work space by Cox Bulleid architects.
Designed to make the most of its orientation, the front of the house is almost entirely glazed and looks out over a courtyard garden, while the remaining three sides are wrapped in a layer of thermally efficient insulating render – this is a very energy efficient house.
Planted balconies create a green world in the heart of the city and also prevent overheating during the summer and allow direct solar heating during the winter.
The house uses sustainable materials throughout, including floors finished with birch plywood panels and self-build furniture. “No eco bling here,” said Grand Designs, “just simplicity in its purest form.”
How much: £1,300,000

The Brighton Modern MansionWhere: Brighton, East Sussex
When:  Series 9, 2009
What: This curved concrete and glass extravaganza was one of the most ambitious projects to ever feature on the show. It was also one of the most heart-rending builds as Grand Designer Barry Surtees collapsed with a heart attack mid way through the project and had to have a bypass. Then the credit crunch struck. And to round it all off, the house next door went up in flames. Barry carried on regardless with his design inspired by the sweep of an artist's brush and ended up with a home that really does put the Grand into design. The highlight of the four storey mansion is the 65’ master bedroom pod with panoramic views over half of Sussex. There's also a pool, gym, artist's studio, and Japanese roof garden.  "A taste of Hollywood on the Brighton hillside," said Kevin McCloud. And then some.
How much: £2.950,000

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