Grand Designs

For other uses, see The Grand Design.
Gand Designs
Created by Talkback Thames
Fremantle Media
Starring Kevin McCloud
Opening theme "Grand Designs"
by David Lowe
No. of series 17
No. of episodes 160 (list of episodes)
Running time 46-49 minutes
Distributor Fremantle Media
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 16:9
Original release 29 April 1999 – present
External links

Grand Designs is a British television series produced by Boundless Productions (originally part of Talkback Thames) and broadcast on Channel 4 which features unusual and often elaborate architectural homebuilding projects.

The programme has been presented by Kevin McCloud since it first aired in April 1999, and 160 episodes have been broadcast in seventeen series.


Episodes generally follow a regular format, with small variations depending on the progress of the build. At the beginning of an episode, McCloud meets the clients embarking on the project; he visits the site with them, and discusses the plans for the building. A computer visualisation or computer-aided design view of the intended project is shown. Once ground work commences, he visits the site periodically, following the build progress, noting any changes, hitches or delays; the build frequently runs over budget and completes later than scheduled. McCloud will often do a piece to camera concentrating on any unique materials or features in the house. He visits again once the building is then made watertight, and the first and second fixes have commenced. He makes a final visit to the site in its finished or near-finished state, once the occupants have moved in. A tour of the house is then given; McCloud brings the episode to a close summarising the house, its construction, and his opinions.

If a house is unlikely to be completed before filming finishes, it will often be revisited in a later episode. In more recent series, McCloud revisits past unfinished builds once they have been completed and may stay overnight.

The properties featured in Grand Designs are hugely varied in style and design, from underground homes to converted water towers to buildings constructed in methods of sustainable architecture; the only common factor is that they are all unusual or extravagant. The most popular programme of the series for both Kevin McCloud and viewers was Ben Law's home with a sweet chestnut frame made from his own woodland, and costing very little. This was broadcast as episode 3 of series 3.

Episodes and spin-offs

The first episode of Grand Designs aired on 29 April 1999. Since then over one hundred episodes have been produced and broadcast in fifteen series so far. The Grand Designs brand has also grown in this time with a number of spin-off shows also being made:


The original Grand Designs series has been released on DVD in the United Kingdom, however the DVD series numbers do not match the television series as some houses are excluded, and the DVDs do not include "revisited" episodes, where there is only a few minutes of new footage. Instead, the new footage from these episodes is included as an extra on the older DVDs.

The Australian release of the original Grand Designs series differs from the UK releases, in that they do not include any "revisited" footage at all.


Grand Designs Live ambassadors Jo Hamilton and George Clarke compete in a 'cook-off'

Grand Designs Live takes place biannually, in London in the spring and Birmingham in the autumn. The exhibitions showcase contemporary design and technology for the home and garden, along with hundreds of stands for suppliers and manufacturers to promote their goods and services. Design and media personalities Kevin McCloud, George Clarke and Jo Hamilton are show ambassadors.

The nine-day Grand Designs Live 2008 event, held at London's ExCeL, attracted over 100,000 visitors. To accompany the event Channel 4 broadcast two live daily programmes directly from the show, Grand Designs Live: Today and Grand Designs Live.

Grand Designs Live launched in Australia in Sydney on 21–23 October 2011.[6] It launched in Melbourne on 21–23 September 2012 and returned to Sydney on 5–7 October 2012..[7]

International broadcasts

Grand Designs is also broadcast in Australia (on The LifeStyle Channel and ABC1), New Zealand (on TV3), Canada (on Viva and CBC[8] ), France (on Maison+ as Bâtir Son Rêve), Iran (on IRIB TV4), the Netherlands (on Discovery Channel, SBS 6 as De Grote Verbouwing and NET 5 als Grand Designs: van Droom naar Droomhuis), Germany (on DMAX as "Große Träume, Große Häuser"), South Africa (on BBC Lifestyle), Denmark (on TV3 Puls), Poland (on Domo (television)), India (on BBC Entertainment), Norway (on FEM), Sweden (on Kanal 9), Finland (on MTV3 and AVA), Romania (on TLC), Italy (on LaEFFE), Slovenia (on TV3 Slovenia and later on Planet TV as "Hiša vaših sanj"), Taiwan (on BBC LifeStyle) and Turkey (on Home & Entertainment TV in Digiturk platform).

Awards and nominations

The programme has been nominated a number of times in the BAFTA Features category and won in 2015.[9]

Year Award Category Recipient Results Ref.
2000 BAFTA TV Awards Features Daisy Goodwin, John Silver Nominated [9]
2004 John Silver, Daisy Goodwin, Kevin McCloud Nominated [9]
2008 BAFTA TV Craft Awards Director - Factual Livia Russell Nominated [9]
2013 BAFTA TV Awards Features Production Team Nominated [10]
2014 Kevin McCloud, Fiona Caldwell, Rob Gill, John Lonsdale Nominated [11]
2015 Production Team Won [12]

See also


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