The book goes way beyond the confines of the usual TV tie-in. Over the 8 years that Grand Designs has been on our screens, Kevin has had plenty of opportunity to formulate his own strong views on what makes truly brilliant architecture. For the first time he can share those views fully, showing that ‘houses too can be architecture’ and giving any aspiring self-builder the maximum number of tools to ensure that their vision becomes reality, with the minimum amount of heartache along the way.
Through three main sections – ‘Thinking’, ‘Dreaming’ and ‘Doing’ – he guides you through each stage of the self–build process, from working out what you really want, to finding a plot, obtaining planning permission, commissioning and briefing architects and builders, and implementing the build itself. Structured around fundamental locations – urban, suburban and rural – Kevin presents his own compendium of houses from across the UK which he finds exciting and exemplary.
Some of the most successful projects from the TV series are featured, including Monty Ravenscroft’s innovative house in Peckham with its retractable roof, a reinvented violin factory in Waterloo, a converted barn in Ross–on–Wye, a spectacular loch-side house on the Clyde estuary and a glass pavilion on a beach near Exeter. As Kevin says, ‘ Green is no longer a weird colour to be’ and running throughout the book is the theme of sustainable building and how to achieve it – not as some minority issue only of interest to those who knit their own sofas but as something which is increasingly central to how we will design, build and live in our homes.
Passionate and opinionated, this book is always highly readable and engaging. For anyone who cares about design and for everyone who has ever thought about building their own home it is essential and truly inspiring reading.
- Publication Date:
- 22 / 11 / 2006
- 189 x 246mm