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Grand Designs: Kevin McCloud visits ‘down to earth’ homes for UK House of the Year

Grand Designs: Kevin McCloud visits ‘down to earth’ homes for UK House of the Year 1

Grand Designs: House of the Year is a property show which champions the very best of home design and architecture. In the series, Kevin McCloud will be joined by design expert, Michelle Ogundehin, as they visit some of the contenders for the 2019 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) House of the Year competition. What properties have made the cut?

In tonight’s episode, Kevin, architect Damon Burrows, and Michelle will visit five more stunning homes all hoping to be crowned RIBA’s House of the Year 2019.

As the host of Grand Designs, Kevin has seen many unique creations during his career.

Some of the properties, each year make the list for RIBA’s House of the Year.

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To be chosen to be a contender for House of the Year, each property must have something unique about them to qualify for the award.

This episode will tackle the designs which are considered to be down to earth and fit into their surroundings perfectly.

READ MORE: Grand Designs: Kevin McCloud visits striking homes in running for UK House of the Year

Fans of the property show will see a stylish property in Devon designed by a master architect which is pared-back and minimal.

Also on the show is a cleverly-engineered home in London which could inspire energy-efficient houses of the future.

Kevin will also travel to the South Downs where he will see a self-build eco-home which is beautifully simple.

The property is a 21st-century manor house in Northamptonshire inspired by humble farm buildings and a sleek, elegant home in Northern Ireland built using the most basic of materials.

Which of them will make it onto the shortlist of the coveted big prize?


The 372 square meter property is described as a “powerful object in the landscape, encircled by leaning pines. The property, known as Secular Retreat in Devon, is hardly distinguishable as a house from the distance of a mile.

Set on a remote Devon hilltop, with Monterey Pines for company, the house is bold, strong, enigmatic and sculptural.

The architectural vision and ambition has been executed without compromise and is a testament to a committed and hands-on client.

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It is a handcrafted building that required time, patience and sticking to the principles to come to fruition.

The main living space is lofty and formed by the plane of the stone floor and poured concrete soffit.

The paving stones from a Somerset quarry are in large varied shapes, with joint lines adding a subtle organic quality, echoing the concrete pour lines above.

Underfloor heating and the thermal mass of concrete walls, columns, and soffit contribute to a very comfortable space, from which to enjoy looking out on a 360 degrees open landscape, whilst being sheltered from the elements by large framed glazing.

This is a cocoon to luxuriate in rather than to set out from.

This retreat has been hand-built in a method and with materials that have a very long life. It will be here for a long time and be experienced by many.

Kevin’s mission will then continue to another contender of House of the Year in the capital city.

Inside the sustainable home, Grand Design fans can get a glimpse of the 163 square meter property and admire its architectural conception.

Located in the trendy borough of Camden, the property is inserted in a modest mews, playing due regard to the need for privacy, for both homeowners and neighbours, setting back at the upper level to enjoy a west-facing terrace which looks over a picturesque Camden roofscape.

The outwardly modest house has at its heart the consideration of how urban populations can provide themselves with warmth and shelter by harvesting freely available natural resources rather than exploiting them un an ultimately self-destructive way.

There are several sustainability challenges addressed in the conception of the property. A key feature is that all the windows have novel automated insulated shutters that have been developed to reduce radiant heat loss and to achieve an energy balance between gains and losses on cold winter nights.

This design has helped the homeowner when trying to cool and heat the property more efficiently.

Kevin will continue to visit the contenders for the award before announcing the winner of the House of the Year award in the final episode next week.


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