Returning: Grand Designs Australia

It feel like a long time since Grand Designs Australia has aired new episodes, but then this is clearly not a show you can make overnight…

Season 8 of the Fremantle-produced series will kick off in early July with architect host Peter Maddison presenting 10 new homes in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia Tasmania and the ACT.

The backdrops are as varied as they are stunning, as Peter travels from Victoria’s bush ranger country near Euroa where the dry earth is punctuated by huge granite boulders, to prime land on Sydney’s northern beaches where sloping blocks pose blistering challenges for two very different owner builders.

One such builder is Stephen Mallinger who has spent the last 15 years at the helm of his own construction company building homes for other people. Now he is expanding his repertoire and finally building his own home – and it’s a grand one. Set in the Northern Beaches suburb of Curl Curl, architect Andrew Donaldson’s unorthodox design comprises four split-level terraced pods which follow the natural contours of the sandstone cliff. The spectacularly steep site adds complexity to an already difficult project, but rather than shy away from the challenge both Stephen and the design take advantage of the natural surroundings – and the effect is inspired.

In the popular Byron hinterland, a young family is building an anti-mansion – a house with a neat footprint which fully values every last square metre. But it’s a proud Tasmanian travel writer that truly tests the principals of the small house movement, by creating a petite 40 square metre pod house providing all she needs and nothing more.

Travelling on to South Australia, Queensland and the ACT, Peter Maddison showcases as many eccentric and unique grand designs as modern masterpieces. Australia has never looked better in this exciting new series.

8.30pm Wednesday, July 17 on LifeStyle.

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