One of our designs was the feature for episode 3 series 20 Grand Designs.

See the episode on Grand Designs website

Grand Designs

When your client says that they have submitted their project to Grand Designs you think about how amazing that would be, but then dismiss it as something that probably won’t happen.

So when Mark & Penny told us that Grand Designs were going to be following their project we were absolutely thrilled at the prospect of having one of ArchiWildish’s designs acknowledged by this prestigious TV program.

Meeting Kevin McCloud was a real pleasure his mannerisms in real life are exactly the same as when he is in front of the camera and having the opportunity to discuss your work with him and be complimented was very gratifying.

The hardest thing was to keep it quiet for 2 years, but when the program aired it was surreal to see something that I had designed come to life on the TV and it has certainly been a highlight in my career and is an achievement of which I am immensely proud.

Project Description

Meeting Mark & Penny for the first time to discuss the possibility of improving the accessibility of their converted brick barn home to allow Mark who is paralysed from the waist down, the dream of building a new fully adapted home on the site of an old steel portal barn was mentioned as I left the meeting.

Unfortunately at the time planning policies did not allow for the creation of new dwellings in this location and worse the desired alterations to allow Mark to access the first floor in their existing home were not possible due to the confines of the existing structure.

A few years after our initial meeting the Government introduced a new Permitted Development policy in respect of being able to convert redundant agricultural buildings to dwellings.

Thinking outside of the box and remembering my meeting with Mark & Penny I contacted them to let them know about this change in planning policy.

Although it was an outside possibility I explained to them that by submitting a successful Class MB prior approval application we would be able to establish the principle of a dwelling in this location and although it would be a leap to then go from a conversion project to a new build dwelling, we may be able to argue a case for this being unable to adapt their existing home to suit Mark’s needs.

With the Class MB approved we designed a new dwelling that was to the same profile and size as the existing barn, but was partially subterranean to provide the 4 bedroom family home that was required.

The planners objected to our proposal on the grounds of it being unsustainable development in open countryside, however we had good support from local councillors following a successful approach by ArchiWildish to ask them for their support and the application was taken before the Planning Committee where after tense discussion the application was approved 6/5 in favour.

This was to the best of our knowledge the first planning approval of its kind anywhere in the country where a Class MB approval had been subsequently succeeded by an approval to demolish the existing un-converted barn and a new dwelling built in its place.

However the approved design required a substantial amount of excavation and in an attempt to be as uncontentious as possible limited the amount of window openings looking out towards the sweeping countryside views.

We therefore revisited the design with Mark & Penny to make all of the living accommodation above ground level and raised the height of the dwelling accordingly, changing the materials used in the proposed building we gave the new dwelling a sharp contemporary look that reflected the agricultural heritage of the building it replaced and complimented its setting.

This striking design was the house that Mark & Penny built and was featured on Grand Designs.

ArchiWildish did not produce the construction drawings or oversee the build and it was unfortunate that mistakes were made by those carrying out this work and it was very sad that our clients Mark & Penny split during the building of the project, however this unfortunate event does not detract from the stunning home that was built and to have our work featured on such a prestigious and well respected TV program has definitely been one of the highlights of my career. – Mark Wildish MCIAT

Watch the Grand Designs animated 3D flyover

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