Thursday, 14 March 2013

grand designs australia.

byron bay residence photo nick wilson

ocean view residence photo paul broben

mansfield residence photo rhiannon slatter

I love nothing more than visiting incredible houses and chatting with the owners about the design, build, renovation and all the trials and tribulations associated with plotting, planning and constructing their once-in-a-lifetime dream home. So it's no surprises Grand Designs is one of my favourite shows. It’s always amazed me how ambitious some people are when it comes to building and their incredible dedication, often living with in-laws or sheds for years and pouring mind boggling sums of money into the project. If I build in the future, one key lesson I've learned from the UK series is to order custom windows early, as in every episode it seems waiting glazing is the number one hold-up.

balnarring residence photo rhiannon slatter

While I love the UK series, when the Australian series presented by architect Peter Maddison launched three years ago, I found it even more compelling than the UK version as the locations, climate and building styles are so much more relevant.

So when a DVD of Grand Designs Australia Series 3 appeared in my mailbox earlier this week, I settled in for an indulgent marathon viewing (I love series on DVD, when you are not restricted to watching one episode at a time). I hit 'play all' and settled in for hours or architectural voyeurism.

annandale residence photo rhiannon slatter

The most recent series follows eight impressive projects ranging in scale and budget, from an avant-garde home in Victoria’s high country, a modern Sydney terrace on a super skinny block, to a glass house in the Barossa and a glamorous beach house in Byron Bay - the location of this one is amazing!

I always get caught up in the often exhausting and emotionally fraught process where owners are confronted with site issues, budget blow-outs and weather problems. Yet every episode (at least the ones which make the show) have a happy ending and the incredible places definitely inspire a sense of house envy.
Another aspect which amazes me about the show is the time it takes to produce, with some builds stretching across several years - yikes.

I am already looking forward to series four, but I might have to make like those involved in the building process and wait patiently. You can get a copy of series three here.