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All episodes Of Grand Designs and Grand Designs Revisited for the 2007 series
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Grand Designs - Episode 1 - The 14th Century Castle, Yorkshire
Every Englishman’s home is his castle but for Francis Shaw this is quite literally true. He and his wife, Karen, and their two young daughters, bought the ruins of a 14th Century castle in Yorkshire and took on the remarkable challenge of turning a pile of stones into a beautiful home. Surrounded by rolling green fields, the location is idyllic; however, the castle itself was little more than four crumbling walls.
Francis has had a passion for castles ever since he was a young boy. It’s this passion that led him to train as an architect, although now he’s more used to putting up commercial buildings than rescuing wrecks. But after years of only dreaming about it, he finally got the chance to live in one.
To help them accomplish this almost Herculean task, Francis enlisted the help of six stone masons who lived and worked permanently on site during the project. They painstakingly pieced the castle back together using, wherever possible, the original stone. When that ran out they had to source and cut the rest from local quarries matching it carefully to the original.
Grand Designs - Episode 2 - The Thatched Cottage, Hampshire
Eight years ago Alex and Cheryl Reay left London for a new life in the New Forest. They bought a run down medieval thatched cottage and lovingly brought it back to life. Then just before Christmas, with Cheryl pregnant, disaster struck. A fault in the chimney caused a massive fire which destroyed the entire building. Overnight Alex and Cheryl had lost almost £400,000.
Whilst most people would have walked away from this, Alex and Cheryl couldn’t let go of their dream. Nine months after the fire, they decided to start all over again and rebuild the cottage, bigger and better than before.
Grand Designs - Episode 3 - The Medway Eco-barge
Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Lai lived in a tiny flat in East London with their two children Alexion and Tayszea. It was very tight for space and as the kids grew they really felt in need of more room. Chris and Sze are both social workers on low incomes and they have very little in the way of savings.
They did however own a small narrow boat, which inspired a solution to their ‘no money, no space’ dilemma.
They decided to build a houseboat which would give them more space for a fraction of the price of a home on land. They began with an 86ft steel barge moored in a boatyard on the River Medway.
Grand Designs - Episode 4 - The Bournemouth Penthouse
James and Katrin Gray live in Bournemouth on the south coast. James runs his own book distribution business and Katrin works for an investment bank. They used to live in an apartment on the second floor of a former Victorian hotel. But three years ago, James bought the top floor flat. It was originally built as a solarium for the hotel in the 1920’s where holiday-makers could soak up the sun. Now James and Katrin plan to convert it into a modern, luxury penthouse.
The first project was to build a large rooftop extension which became the main living area of the new penthouse. This steel frame structure was cleverly knitted between all the obstructions on the roof and leads out onto a fabulous roof top terrace with exclusive views along the coast.
Grand Designs Revisited - Episode 5 - The Eco-House, Carmarthen
Andrew and Lowri Davies embark on a project to build an environmentally friendly farmhouse in rural Wales. Encouraged by their architect, they opt for some state-of-the-art experimental building materials; but do their builders know how to use them? As the budget spirals out of control, they find it increasingly difficult to balance the budget with their desire for a sustainable home.
Grand Designs - Episode 6 - The Birmingham Church
Dean Marks has dreamt of living in a church for as long as he can remember. After searching for the right building for years, he came across St Martin’s near Birmingham, a huge 18th century grade II listed church which looks more like a mausoleum. The church wanted £25,000 for it but Dean knocked them down to £12,500. Now, after fighting for planning permission for four years, Dean and his wife, Hilary, are about to transform this derelict monstrosity into a family home.
The couple both love old buildings and feel that they could never find a house or build a home with the same degree of character and beauty as St.Martin’s. Inside, the cavernous space will be converted to a six bedroom home with an indoor swimming pool and gym/sauna, and a library in the bell tower. Dean has a lifetime collection of antique books that he hopes to put in the library and various original artworks to hang on the vast walls of the church. All the stained-glass windows will be restored and the old bell housing at the top of the tower will be turned into an observatory with a glass roof. As part of the deal with the church, Dean and Hilary have also agreed to maintain the gravestones and a large obelisk in their garden.
Grand Designs - Episode 7 - The Art Deco House, Guildford
When Pilots Andrew Berry and his wife Helen bought their cottage near Guildford in Surrey 7 years ago they always planned to add a small extension. But over the last few years the modest extension has evolved so much that retaining any of the original cottage simply wasn’t practical. Now it’s being completely demolished to make way for a new five bedroom Art Deco style house.
Andrew and Helen’s love affair with all things Art Deco began when they renovated a period apartment in Glasgow. After numerous visits to the Daimler and Hoover buildings, it’s became such a passion that they actually spent their last holiday in Napier, a town in New Zealand famous for its Art Deco buildings. This inspiration, numerous planning applications and years of heart searching have finally produced a design that they are completely happy with and they are about to start work.
It seems very fitting that a couple of pilots should have chosen an architectural period like Art Deco which was inspired by the age of speed. During the Art Deco period cars, planes and trains were “streamlined” and so too were buildings. Helen and Andrew’s house, with its combination of architectural curves and strong lines is straight out of the 1930s.
Grand Designs Revisited - Episode 8 - Sliding roof House , Peckham
When Monty Ravenscroft and Clare Loewe began looking for a house to buy in London they soon realised that the only affordable option was to build one themselves. They snapped up a dirt cheap slither of land in Peckham at an auction only to be told it was too small to put a house on. Undeterred, three years ago, engineering whiz Monty began building an extraordinary experimental bungalow that filled the site to bursting point.
Calling on friends, family and anyone he could think of to help, Monty started to put together a very space-age design complete with sliding glass roof light, mezzanine bedroom pods and a bath under the bed. He quickly ran into trouble with building control who didn’t know what to make of his unorthodox home and when he and Clare found out they were expecting their first child mid way through the build, they wondered if they’d ever get it finished. Now Kevin is back to find out how many gadgets and gizmos Monty has managed to squeeze into this modest home and whether it suits family life.
Grand Designs Revisited - Episode 9 -The Argyll Oak Framed House
Tony and Jo, musicians with Scottish Opera, had long dreamed of a home in the countryside. They found a perfect site on the Clyde estuary in Argyll and Bute. Located in a small village on a hillside, it had glorious views as far as the isle of Arran and was less than an hour's drive from Glasgow. Inspired by local oak-framed barns, they gave architect Andy McAvoy an open brief.
In return, he gave them a design that fused medieval and modern and promised a beautifully simple interior. However, the construction was anything but simple...
Grand Designs - Episode 10 - The Cambridgeshire Eco Home
Kelly and Masoko Neville set about building not just a spectacular oak frame and straw bale house, but a whole new way of life in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Kelly is a carpenter by trade and has always dreamed of building an eco friendly home with his own hands. This highly sustainable house, sitting in harmony with nature and its surroundings, will become the base for Kelly and Masoko’s new self-sufficient life where they will produce their own food and energy from the land.
The unusual two storey house is built around a spiral staircase carved out of an 800 year old oak tree trunk, the centrepiece of an interior that draws inspiration from Tolkein’s Hobbit. But this Herculean journey is far from easy. The unusual hexagonal design would challenge the most experienced builder and with no architect to turn to for advice Kelly has to tackle all the problems on his own. To keep costs down the house has been designed to be built by one man and a tractor. But when the tractor breaks down just four weeks into the project Kelly has to lift the huge oak beams, weighing half a ton each, into position, himself.
Grand Designs Revisited - Episode 11 - The Tuscany Castle
This week Kevin meets a couple who bought a ruin and moved to Italy in 1999, hoping to start work building their dream home in Tuscany. Since then they've spent all their time trying to get planning permission, but finally, after four years, they are about to start work. And it's an epic project: they have bought a derelict 1,000-year-old castle in the Tuscan hills. Now the couple face their biggest battle of all: rebuilding this massive ruin into a comfortable and luxurious five-bedroom home...
Grand Designs - Episode 12 - The London Glass & Timber House
Bill and Sarah are a couple whose dream of living mortgage-free rests on building not one, but two timber framed houses in south London. Building on the site of Bill's old wood workshop, the couple plan to sandwich the houses in between two existing rows, leaving them overlooking, and overlooked, by over twenty neighbours. To get around these difficulties Bill and Sarah's houses will use oblique windows, skylights and double height glazed courtyards to create two beautiful but private homes. But before long the budget is soaring and Bill's desire to go more luxurious and high spec leaves their dream of debt free living looking ever more remote.
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