Grand Designs

The Show That Fuses Architectural Critique With Real-Estate Porn

CityLab, May 10, 2017

In an episode of “Grand Designs,” a couple wants to expand a tiny cottage into a three-bedroom family home. One member of the couple, Gregory Kewish, has the idea to use panels of a high-tech wood—called cross-laminated timber—in a new and experimental way, as structural components. His engineer is not so enamored of the idea, and quits. But Kewish perseveres. We see him crawling across the cottage’s roof one night, in pitch darkness and pouring rain, moving the massive wooden panels into place as his partner, Rebecca Sturrock, looks on worriedly.

Building a house can possess a person, become a kind of madness. This is a theme that runs through “Grand Designs.”

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