Grand Designs Australia: specials

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Next month LifeStyle’s excellent Grand Designs Australia will air three specials set in regional Australia, hosted by Peter Maddison.

The first episode will profile artistic brothers in Yackandandah, then renovating an old Bendigo bed and breakfast and lastly a couple building a fire proof, sustainable, non-toxic house at Kinglake.

Episode 1, Yackandandah Sawmill House – A sculptor and his architect brother are building a small contemporary home using massive elements, on the edge of an escarpment in Yackandandah, northeast Victoria. All the elements will be painstakingly handcrafted on site by the brothers in the adjacent historic sawmill studio, but there are too few plans and increasingly different ideas. At some point, someone is going to have to make hard decisions. Chris is the architect, but its Bens house… so who will have the final say?

Episode 2, Harcourt Quarry – After purchasing 45 acres, including a stone quarry, at Harcourt near Bendigo, partners Art and Troy are restoring the existing 1800s granite cottage and incorporating it into a multi-level contemporary home, with a massive basement theatre, a huge open plan kitchen living area topped off with the only bedroom and glass ensuite on the third level. Tight heritage and archaeological restrictions along with permissions from parks, farming and fire departments have already cost them 4-years of planning and $80,000, so they’re champing at the bit to get going and to get it right

Episode 3, Kinglake Non Toxic House – Kinglake, an hour from Melbourne, was one of the worst affected areas in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Dan tragically lost his home and understandably couldn’t face the prospect of re-building on the same site. He eventually found 20 acres where he could start again. So he and his partner, Vicky, are building a fire resistant, sustainable house which reflects their zero waste ideals. It’s a huge leap of faith and one that makes no guarantees. With untested systems and new technologies wrapped up inside a crushed brick industrial façade, will their $600,000 budget get them the truly sustainable rural escape they’re chasing?

Thursdays at 8.30pm from June 4 on LifeStyle.

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