Grand Designs Australia

Each episode is about the host visiting people who have a dream to build a house and how they bring the build to fruition. We see their trials and tribulations along the way. Each episode is a separate stand-alone story.

Genre: Documentary

Country: Australia

Duration: N/A

Quality: HD

Release: 2010

IMDb: 7.3

Season 1 - Grand Designs Australia
"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. With nothing remaining but a concrete slab and a burnt out shell Chris was left shattered and numb.\n\nAfter recovering from the initial grief he was determined to re-build and re-use every last salvageable element of the original house. What he creates in the year or so following is simply remarkable. By adding sturdy recycled elements with the latest fire resistant materials, Chris sets out to produce a tough, resilient version of the original home (now dubbed Callignee One). Wearing its embattled past as a badge of honour, will Callignee Two not only face up to the Aussie bush?"
"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. So, they come up with a unique way of keeping costs down and do this by buying very small and building very tall.\n\nAfter buying a tiny corner car park measuring 7m x 6m they set out to create 220 square metres of light filled living space. Their vertical build comes together quickly thanks to pre-fab concrete panels which fit together like Lego. Construction itself is fast and efficient but there are interesting challenges on site. A miniscule block and two narrow cross streets won\u2019t submit to the needs of a gigantic crane in a hurry \u2013 and the crane is essential as it hauls the huge panels and windows into position. Basically something\u2019s gotta give \u2013 and it does. Will the result be worth the hassle?"
"When Jan and Ed Gillman bought a tumble-down weatherboard in Southport, their first intention was to demolish and start again. But on learning its unique history as the 1880\u2019s summer house of Sir Augustus Gregory (one of the oldest houses in Southport), they decide to restore instead and plan to lift the original house and move it forward two metres on the block.\n\nWhat follows is a painstaking restoration process \u2013 and with no official heritage guidelines in place Jan and Ed are faced with a difficult choice: take the laborious path of restoring the house to its former glory or opt for the easier path and lose the history of the house."
"Julie and Patrick Eltridge bought in Sydney\u2019s beachside Clovelly three years ago, paying $1.6 million for an old house on a sloping block. It was the land and its sea views they wanted, not the asbestos-riddled house. With time a concern, they have to find a way to fast track a slick, uber modern, two-story residence in a matter of months. The solution comes from Melbourne and a firm of pre-fab builders, who custom build them four top end, architect designed modules in a highly efficient, regulated environment. On completion, the pods will be trucked to Sydney in a dramatic, oversized convoy and then crane lifted into position. Another challenging element of the build centres around the demolition and site preparation in Sydney. One of the site issues has more twists and plot turns than an Agatha Christie novel making the new modules look like a breeze."
"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. With money tight they were sustained by thoughts of the beautiful home they\u2019d one day enjoy \u2013 so they both nutted out a unique design. A cyclone proof, tropical tree house that is windowless and based on the shape of a 50 cent piece. With little or no funds, Trevor (a wood carver) is building it all himself (including furniture) with the help of generous mates. The going is slow but one of the first things finished is the magnificent central staircase, carved from a fallen Paperbark Tree. Will they get the roof on before the wet season? That is the question."
"If ever there was an ideal place for a Hamptons house outside the Hamptons, the Gold Coast hinterland would be it \u2013 wide open spaces, balmy sea-kissed air and a sense of prosperity. For Steve and Lisa Morley it\u2019s the American dream or nothing for their 4,000 square metre block.\n\nThey love everything about the Hamptons style, from the warm timbers, to the many windows, pavilion style design, parquetry flooring and classic, soft interior furnishings. Lisa has done her research, designing many elements herself and will stop at nothing to fulfill her dream."
"Nothing like an impulsive act to take you down a path you hadn\u2019t expected in life. For engineer Peter Riedel and his interior designer wife Mary, their sudden whim was to purchase an 1870\u2019s church for $20,000. It wasn\u2019t even upright at the time and all they got was a pile of boards. Still, it captured their imagination and a plan took shape to re-build the church on their property, overlooking Wilsons Promontory and convert it into a house. Like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle, their biggest challenge is the number of pieces missing."
"Drew Muirhead is a self employed entrepreneur and man about town. He\u2019s building a Balinese resort style mansion in leafy Cottage Point. Not one to do things by halves, Drew\u2019s mansion will have Balinese Pavilions, an infinity pool, its own nightclub, five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a steam room. It all faces a private beach with boatshed and speedboat.\n\nThe biggest battle for Drew, who is project managing the build \u2013 is the steep sloping block and access."
"Ian McDonald and Rob Wilhelm are not building an understated new home. Theirs is a Grand Design in its most literal sense. A glass box with a roof like floating wings overlooking Port Phillip Bay on the Bellarine Peninsula \u2013 seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, cinema, games room, glass lift, glass panelled pool, rooftop garden \u2013 all the bells and whistles, all the boy\u2019s toys. With a construction budget of $1.8 million, the question is will they burst the budget banks and by how much?"
Season 2 - Grand Designs Australia
"Over the years, Nick and Anna McKimm have almost made a hobby of renovating, selling and moving on. But with three young children, they\u2019re ready to lay down permanent roots and build their dream home. A sleek, modernist, 60\u2019s inspired family residence on a large, half acre block in Melbourne\u2019s bayside suburb, Brighton. Nick heads up a successful building company and knows a lot about quality period reproductions - particularly classical architectural styles - and Anna has a flair for beautiful fit-outs. But as they\u2019re about to learn, mid-century building is very different to other architectural styles and comes with its own challenges."
"Ten years ago retired Civil Engineer Bernie Ryan and his wife Ruth, packed up their three kids and moved to Paynesville, a charming seaside town in Victoria's popular Gippsland Lakes region. Bernie\u2019s a tinkerer with a huge shed filled with crazy projects started in a flurry, but left unfinished. Needing a new house and unwilling to pay a builder, Bernie takes on the construction himself, armed with an eccentric, industrial design, a minimal budget and a cowboy attitude. Bernie wheels out his old crane and ropes in a bunch of retired mates to lend a hand. He\u2019s built bridges and industrial constructions before, but this is Bernie\u2019s first ever house - and his \u2018she\u2019ll be right\u2019 attitude lands him in hot water when the building inspector turns up unannounced. Bernie tries to do as much as he can on the cheap, with supportive Ruth ever hopeful he\u2019ll pull it off, so the family can move from their rough old shed into a real home. This is a makeshift, do-it-yourself construction that could easily end up a shambles. Will this be the one project Bernie manages to finish, or a blight on Paynesville\u2019s picturesque skyline?"
"Anne Potter loves all things retro - the fashion, the cars... even the hairstyles. So ten years ago, it was no surprise that she and husband Michael snapped up a modest 60\u2019s bungalow overlooking the harbour in Sydney\u2019s Five Dock. Since then their family has expanded and with three very active boys, they are really feeling the squeeze so they\u2019re tearing down the old house to build their own modern version of a retro home, with curved steel and walls of glass with a hint of Mondrian inspired colour - a complete contrast to the well-kept, more conservative homes that surround them. This is Anne\u2019s dream opportunity. As an interior designer by trade, she\u2019s keen to be actively involved in creating their special home. But she\u2019s been a stay-at-home mum, out of the industry for ten years, and overseeing a house construction is a whole new challenge. Can she keep across the intricacies of the job in between school drop offs, supermarket runs and cooking the dinner?"
"Kyneton, a country town in Victoria\u2019s Macedon Ranges, is known for historic architecture and bustling farmers markets. It\u2019s the perfect place for foodies Rod Moore and Di Foggo \u2013 who are embarking on a huge life change. They\u2019re farewelling a classic Victorian home with traditional furnishings and building a brand new, cutting edge flat pack house on a rugged escarpment overlooking the racecourse. Di is a keen gardener and wants to create a lofty paradise with a wide, rolling view. They\u2019ve been burnt before with budgets spiralling out of control and schedules doubling, so they have chosen a high end, quality flat pack home knowing there\u2019s a fixed price and a speedy schedule. Trouble is, the land isn\u2019t complying and from almost day one generates unexpected problems. Seems even the most regulated grand designs are at nature\u2019s mercy."
"Daniel Leipnik and Andrew Preston have long cherished the dream of a laid-back, barefoot life in the tropics. And they have found the ideal location at Trinity Beach near Cairns in Far North Queensland. Their ambitious new home will grace a hillside block bordering a World Heritage rainforest and overlooking the Coral Sea. After years planning this grand sea-change, they are ready at last to manage its construction. Their vision is for a classic pavilion-style pole home, nestled in the tree tops. But project managing is tough enough if you\u2019re on site\u2026 and they\u2019re attempting the job from 4,000 kilometres away in Melbourne, plus this is a first time experience for them both. While they believe they\u2019ve left no stone unturned designing their South Pacific inspired hideaway, they can\u2019t escape the challenges of the location. A precarious driveway, tropical downpours and expensive local trades are all threatening to send their budget and schedule spiralling out of control. Between pressing work commitments and the tyranny of distance, these idealists still believe they can pull off the house of their dreams. The question is, can they?"
"For nine years, Michael and Sandy Rutledge have been making the weekend pilgrimage to their lush 20 acre property in Gladysdale, an hour east of Melbourne. Now they\u2019re leaving the city for a permanent tree change and building a new family home on their acreage. But first they have to agree on a design. Sandy has a passion for Old World European, inspired by her travels overseas, whereas Michael\u2019s a techno whiz who likes sleek, contemporary homes. Can their architect marry their differing tastes with definite ideas of his own? One thing everyone agrees is that this should be a house with a sense of permanence, a house that will stand the test of time thanks to thick walls encased in dry stone. But seems it can\u2019t even manage a first season as continual wet weather causes delays and flooding. Before work is even finished, they have to face the unthinkable \u2013 the house isn\u2019t waterproof! Despite their best efforts it\u2019s an ongoing battle against the elements. Can they curb the leaks and deliver Sandy the stone fortress she\u2019s been dreaming of?"
"Life in Adelaide, the driest capital city in Australia, has made Mike Dare and wife Lowen Partridge passionate about conserving water. Like many people, they decided to put a couple of water tanks in their new house. But these are tanks with a difference. Massive, custom designed steel anchors that support the house above the ground. With the roof acting like a giant funnel, 100,000 litres of water can be caught and stored in the tanks which are hidden behind internal walls. It\u2019s out of the box thinking and what Mike does best. With 40 years of design and engineering work on some of Adelaide\u2019s most prominent buildings, he\u2019s developed a reputation as a lateral thinker. But Mike is now responsible for creating something that looks great too and preferably in the colour he\u2019s most comfortable with \u2013 grey. Mike likes total control so he\u2019s acting as architect, engineer and project manager. Working with logical systems on a house built largely offsite in factories, what could possibly go wrong? Just all the things he can\u2019t control: the weather, the schedule, his walling company going broke and most importantly \u2013 his wife\u2019s opinion of the colour grey."
"Art teacher and sculptor Laurie Smith and his wife Renee Hoareau, a trained artist turned web designer, are both zealous art lovers; so joy of joys when, after years of searching they found the ideal block to create their \u2018sculpture in space\u2019. It\u2019s almost as if this picturesque piece of Victoria, with its red alluvial soil, was designed especially for their new dream home. Their vision is to create a sort of domestic gallery that will inspire both inside and out. A modernist cube shaped construction of steel, stone and glass that celebrates and pays tribute to some identifiable artistic references. This will be a place to live, work, create and display their extensive art collection in equal measure. Inspiration comes from many sources \u2013 for example the 25 metre long stone facade with its tricky curved window is reminiscent of a well known state gallery. But handing over artistic license to a construction team is a big ask especially after an oversight at one of the first jobs on site, the concrete pour. It\u2019s an early reality check that tests their ability to let go and trust. Will they manage to go with the flow and end up with the art house they so desperately crave?"
"Adventurous, outdoorsy types, Greg Kay and Trish Knight, live in the ideal spot to enjoy nature - right on the waterfront in Hobart\u2019s exclusive Battery Point. The view is dazzling and the aspect fabulous so when the time comes to downsize, they don\u2019t want to go far \u2013 and end up buying the block next door. The plan is to subdivide, sell the heritage cottage at the front of the block and build a new house at the back, facing the water. But councils have a way of altering even the best laid plans \u2013 and after several set backs and a re-think, Greg and Trish find themselves embarking on an epic upsizing adventure. The old cottage must be integrated into a massive new house with two distinct zones \u2013 historical cottage at the front, ultra modern glass, timber and exposed concrete extension at the back. But it\u2019s not easy. Stubborn blue stone bedrock, steep, narrow, restricted access, and a rogue sewage line indicate trouble ahead. Add to that an architect given free reign, contracts done on a handshake, and Greg\u2019s insistence on quality, and you have a schedule blow out with a budget spinning out of control. The big question is \u2013 can they afford to live there?"
"Edd and Amanda lost everything when bushfires swept through Steels Creek. Determined to stay with the land they love, they're building a concrete bunker embedded in the landscape with one side facing the outside world."
Season 3 - Grand Designs Australia
"Victoria's high country is the idyllic location of Pamela & Stuart's quaint little weekender but with a permanent move here looming, it's time to upsize."
"Jenny & Brett are replacing their loved Californian Bungalow with a sculptural, Japanese style all timber house with wrap-around pool. Pure dedication ensures this uniquely challenging build triumphs despite the challenges."
"Eco conscious entertainers Claire and Lisa adore their hobby farming lifestyle on Victoria's Mornington peninsula, but the cute 1930's beach shack they've long shared with two pugs has lost its once savoured charm. They're upgrading and building a sustainable, modernist, entertainers' home that blends sophisticated design elements with rammed earth, recycled materials and raw finishes. It all sounds glamorous and straightforward but with a zero contingency budget what happens when a wet winter meets an insidious clay soil?"
"Tyrone & Hailey follow the advice of a feng shui expert or 'energy ecologist' throughout construction of their new house. An owner-built labour of love, their passive solar building has a curved living roof planted with native grasses."
"Max and Mariella have been planning to relocate to Bryon Bay since the birth of their daughter Ruby. As successful property developers, an ambitious build shouldn't be a problem - but handing over control to a local building team is harder than they thought. From the outset they make fundamental changes to the design making it a headache for the builder and for Max. Something has to give - especially when the bank learns the house they're loaning money on isn't quite the house being built."
"Brett and Rees are the proud parents of three young boys and desperately need more space. They love their inner west community in Sydney's Annandale, so the plan is to build on the small empty allotment behind their apartment. The first sod has barely been turned when one of the heritage buildings on their boundary is in danger of collapsing. Exhausted by ongoing battles and a build that's months behind schedule - will Brett & Rees have enough grit and determination to see their project through to completion?"
"James & Helen plan to capture breathtaking Barossa views in their elegant new home. 60 metres long, 1 room wide and virtually all glass, it looks straightforward on paper. The complicated part is building it."
"There's nothing flimsy about Brunella & Carlo's contemporary home in QLD's Ocean View. It's 'semi brutalist' architecture designed to last and driven by Brunella's passion for concrete."
Season 4 - Grand Designs Australia
"Darren and Ruth Rogers have almost polar opposite views about what their new house should be. Darren wants all the bells and whistles \u2013 home cinema, wine cellar, even a lift. Ruth wants chickens, a vegetable garden and a hills hoist. Finding a design that will satisfy both of them and their young son Raymond, is their shared aim."
"Chris and wife Belinda bought the small \u2018car park\u2019 of land next door to their existing house, just 3.9 metres wide: literally a tiny gap in a long row of heritage listed cottages in Sydney\u2019s inner west Forest Lodge. Their plan is to squeeze every centimeter of land into a uniquely sustainable house."
"Thirteen years ago Meredith and Matt Bayfield needed an escape from their busy lives as doctors in Sydney so they purchased a working sheep property at Ilford in the central table lands of NSW."
Season 5 - Grand Designs Australia
"An experimental three storey house made entirely from 31 new shipping containers."
"The single longest build in Grand Designs Australia's history. This 6 year build was all about getting their dream house absolutely perfect."
"An architect, Ariane Prevost, at the peak of her career, puts it aside to design and build a house for herself and her husband Neil."
"After 30 years as a civil engineer, Joe Cato sells his building business to spend more time with his kids and build a new house. This house will be completed entirely by rammed earth construction."
"Some people have the ability to see beyond the function of an object - to see it as a work of art\u2026\u2026and it\u2019s that premise that\u2019s driven Melbourne doctors, Ian and Ann Howard, to create a home like no other. Their plan is to build a 3 storey house clad entirely with water tanks \u2013 massive 2 metre high \u2018H\u2019 shaped black plastic beasts that will form the skin of their new house."
"After years working abroad, Sarah and English born husband Alistair Brodie-Fraser decided to relocate back to Sarah\u2019s home town of Toowoomba in Queensland. This time the move will be permanent \u2013 close to Sarah\u2019s extended family. But with Sarah\u2019s father being German, her mother Scottish and Alistair\u2019s connection with the UK, memories of Europe were bound to have some influence in the design of their new house."
"When Jason Bretell and Jennifer Pancari first set eyes on a dilapidated old bluestone cottage in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Williamstown, it was love at first sight. The 150-year-old derelict structure was left almost frozen in time with decaying tools, utensils, and other remnants amongst the ruins \u2013 bits and pieces Jason and Jen hope to salvage as they bring the cottage back to life."
"The brief to their architect was simple. A home that not only makes the very best of its location, but is truly unique. In short, as different as possible from the traditional ranch style and Queenslander neighbours."
"Like many people, Dean and Sherril Lamb yearn for a simpler existence, for them and their three children. But unlike most people, they\u2019re actually going to try to make it happen. They\u2019ve sold their successful fruit shop and home in Warragul and bought 40 acres in Pipers Creek in country Victoria; all in the pursuit of total self sufficiency."
Season 6 - Grand Designs Australia
"While in the inner city suburb of East Melbourne in Victoria, a very small block is set to make way for a three story totally green home with geo-thermal heating and cooling and a rooftop garden and spa. Photographer Ralph Alfonso has a very strong sense of how precious our environment is and how little space we really need to live in. His downsized style of living focuses on being as frugal as possible, using a ground-breaking and innovative environmental design. The thing is\u2026 the house footprint measures just 5 x 4 metres, making it grand in design, although miniature in size."
"Mark and Karen Bartkevicius spent two years pursuing the sale of an old electric substation in Launceston, Tasmania, which they then renovated into a modern home, whilst still keeping the charm of the original building intact."
"One of the most distinctive builds of the season takes us to a beautiful vineyard setting just over half an hour from Adelaide. Tailored specifically for new winemakers \u2013 opera singer Cate Foskett and her husband Nick, a Silicon Valley whiz kid \u2013 the Max Pritchard designed home is in the shape of a leaf, curved on both sides with a spine stone wall running through the middle. A two story \u2018song tower\u2019 with a library on the ground floor and a singing studio on the top floor formed the genesis of the design."
"Set in an average suburban street in North Balgowlah, this Jetson\u2019s worthy pad \u2013 with diagonal structural steel base, floating boxed bedroom, concealed garage, crazy paving, and Tex Mex-meets-Palm Springs inspired garden, promises to push the boundaries."
"Draftsman Nigel Eberhardt is a conservationist at heart \u2013 a passion he shares with partner Nina, a school teacher. Their love for the natural environment saw them purchase one of the last remaining native bush blocks in Turners Beach, a beachside suburb brimming with neat houses and manicured lawns, on Tasmania\u2019s north coast, where they build a house around the already established trees."
"Canberra couple Barbara and Bill Coyle have been lucky enough to live in houses designed by Australia\u2019s best known architects. They love modernist architecture so they engaged the right architect to design them something 70\u2019s. Bill an orthopaedic surgeon, has been diagnosed with Parkinson\u2019s disease. Their new house with its curved roofline and glass entrance is designed for the future when he\u2019ll be in a wheelchair."
"In the Melbourne suburb of Northcote, the Skipping Girl Vinegar Factory was a siren call for sustainable architect, Adrian Light. But old buildings have a way of resisting change and this one is no exception. Adrian has big plans to turn what is essentially a four storey red brick warehouse with 20 huge concrete vinegar vats into a four bedroom sustainable home for his family. At every stage he is confronted with the realities of reworking a stubborn old, wet factory. As the months turn into years this really is a question of who will win?"
"Photographer Nigel is building his first house with wife Nina on a site steeped in bushland that will form his inspiration. He's designing the house around a large Eucalyptus tree that will be the focal point."
"Barbara and Bill love modernist design so they've sought an architect designed 70s style home. Bill has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease so the home's curved roof line and glass entrance is designed for the future."
"Owner\/Architect Adrian is passionate about sustainable building. He has grand plans for turning his Vinegar Factory inside out by creating a four storey eco-friendly house complete with a series of walled rainforest."
Season 7 - Grand Designs Australia
"Brendan and Penelope dream of a multi-tiered, multi-million dollar home, complete with infinity pool on the side of a cliff in Bondi. But when they constantly change plans, will it ever be finished?"
"Sydney couple Phil and Ariana want an adventurous house, something cutting edge that hasn't been done before. This special house will cantilever out from their block and overlook the water at Maianbar."
"Inland from Noosa in a lush tropical landscape sits Nick and Nicole's sail house. They have a daring design which they hope will look like a yacht moored on dry land and provide them with a true adventure in paradise."
"Anglican Reverends Neil and Ruth have long harboured a desire to build their own home in the style of a Tudor farm house featuring timber boards and a church-like interior of hand-crafted exposed structural beams."
"GP Zewlan and her electrician husband Tom, want an architect designed home in a great location on shoestring budget. Working within a tenuous loan framework, what they create is inspiring."
"Architect Tim Hill has made his name designing small, radically shaped, timber houses. Now it's time for Tim's family to up-size to a new house that will be curvaceously shaped like a foot."
"Set on a small block overlooking the Southern Ocean, this three-pod home straddles a pair of four-meter high sand dunes on the protected Aldinga Scrub conservation area on the South Australian coast."
"Six years ago Louise and Steve bought two acres of a rambling English garden in the Adelaide hills. Using the local stone their dream home will be a rustic two storey stone farm house with a modern twist."
"Steve Minon has a fascination for things Japanese. He fell in love with the work of an iconic Japanese architect Yo Shimada, who he contacted to design a house for him."