‘Madness and adventurous’: Kevin McCloud praises ‘fantastic’ home on Grand Designs

Grand Designs: Kevin McCloud discusses 'unusual' build

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Designer and presenter Kevin McCloud presents Grand Designs on Channel 4 where he showcases unique building creations, which have been pursued by passionate individuals. During a recent appearance on ITV’s This Morning, Kevin McCloud spoke about tonight’s episode, which features a £2.5million futuristic property featuring large zinc shards in south Devon.

The unique design, which is 70-metres long and contains over 30 zinc shards, was inspired by the local landscape. The project is the creation of Joe O’Connor, a property and supercar investor, and wife, Claire.

Kevin told the show that Joe had set his heights high with the building’s concept. 

“Joe stated that it was to build one of the greatest houses on the planet, most of us of course just want to build a three-bedroom house, but not him,” said Kevin.

When asked if the building’s design was either “adventurous” or “madness”, Kevin replied: “There’s a little bit of madness in it, but of course, it’s adventurous.

“And I’ll tell you what’s brilliant about it, so often you see a shopping centre or museum with a shape like that, and you go inside and it has ordinary rectangular spaces, and it’s boring, whereas that building was on the inside as it was on the outside, all those shapes and shards you could read from the inside – I think it’s more like a museum.”

Further in the show, ITV presenter Eamonn Holmes asked whether there had been a change in how people utilised space in their homes due to a shift in lifestyle.

“Of course,” said Kevin, “whereas 20 years ago I think people were saying I want a dining room, I want a formal room, a cinema room, nowadays it’s about trying to give each room several purposes – whether it’s for home schooling or putting a recording studio in people’s bedroom.

“And I’d never seen so many bedrooms before Covid,” he added.

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Before a building project gets underway, Kevin admitted how exciting the prospect of creating a unique design is.

“At the beginning it’s a world of infinite possibilities,” he said.

Reflecting on how ambitious designs must incorporate creative ways to utilise space, Kevin said: “Those are the great skills of architecture really, organising spaces to make the best of what you got.

“If you haven’t got a view out of your window, people with skylights in have discovered there’s a fantastic world of stars, sky and seagulls. It’s incredible.”

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With huge costs involved in ambitious building projects, Kevin acknowledged that some people were left with no choice but to abandon them when their finances skyrocketed.

“That’s painful for us because often we’ve travelled the journey with them to a certain extent and for whatever reason they just don’t make it.

“We’ve had some projects we held onto, clung onto for five, seven years and we’ve lost them.”

In October, Grand Designs Live will be hosted in Birmingham.

During the event, self-builders and renovators will be provided with a range of ideas to create their own unique home.

“I’m expecting to see familiar faces and for it be a welcome antidote to the last 18 months,” said Kevin.

“The construction industry is in a really healthy state, the supply chain is nuts at the moment but actually there’s loads of people really excited to build, extend and decorate, so it should be business as usual.”

Grand Designs airs on Channel 4 on Wednesday at 9pm.

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