Grand Designs New Zealand

Time Schedule

Mon 13:00 | Tue 17:00 | Thu 21:00 | Fri 09:00 | Sat 11:00 & 18:00 | Sun 15:00 & 22:00


Hosted by Kiwi Architect Chris Moller, Grand Designs New Zealand will share the stories of creative and enterprising Kiwis who are taking on the challenge of building their own unique and inspirational homes. No design is too ambitious, and no obstacle too large in their quest for the perfect house.

Following the internationally successful Grand Designs format, the series will see the process of these incredible design projects, as well as the personal journeys of those building them – from the initial blueprints, through to the long and often arduous task of turning the plans into practical living spaces.

Using archaic or new-school building techniques and material, and locations from the beach, to the mountains, and the hills in between, Grand Designs New Zealand will feature houses ranging from architectural designer mansions to DIY homes.

20 – 26 Jan 2020: Episode 2 – Hemp Home

New Plymouth couple Greg Whitham and Gayle Avery want to build a rustic French farmhouse- style home for their extended family – and they want to do this using hemp.

But being one of the first hemp homes in New Zealand presents numerous challenges.

Things gets even more difficult – and a little weird – when they also decide to spend large amounts of money shielding their home against electromagnetic frequencies – invisible radiation emitted by radio towers, cellphones, Wi-Fi and their own electrical circuitry.

Episode 3 – Rusty House

Steve Wilson and Wendy Grell want to get out of the city and live the quiet life. So they’ve demolished the old family holiday home and are building a permanent home in a small, isolated Northland bay.

Their vision is to build an architectural showpiece – angled walls and rooflines clad in rusty weathering steel – but they want this to blend into a rural and unassuming seaside community.

So will Steve and Wendy – and their new home – fit in?

Episode 4 – Stilt House

With predicted rising sea levels, Wellington’s wild Kapiti coastline is in danger of eventually being washed away.

But that’s not stopping Guy Marriage and his cousins from building an experimental home only three metres from the high tide mark.

Guy’s an architectural lecturer who wants to prove to himself that those who teach also can do – but as he constantly clears his site of storm detritus – could he simple be proving he’s a little foolhardy?

Episode 5 – French House

The inner-city suburb of Ponsonby is full of pretty historic wooden villas and the locals are very protective of them.

So when Francophiles Sarah and Philippe Lods decide to build a modernist home – based on Parisian apartments – on a rare empty site – they have some challenges ahead.

Especially as Sarah– a stylist – and Philippe – an editor – both have an eye for detail bordering on obsession.

Episode 6 – Modern Day Castle

Andy Macbeth and Jo Denton are Christchurch earthquake refugees who are building a new life and modern-day fortress against the elements in alpine Queenstown.

Their site includes what they call  “Stonehenge” – huge rock foundations left on site by a former owner who abandoned plans for a castle-like home.

Andy and Jo’s dream is to include these in a modernist energy-efficient “passive house” to protect their family against the environment – earthquakes and climate extremes.

Trouble is passive houses aren’t supposed to hardly need heating, but Andy wants two log fireplaces and is cutting down a forest on his property to fuel them. Are they going overboard?

Episode 7 – Shipping Container Home

Engineer and construction project manager David Fitzmaurice moved to Christchurch with his wife Joyce Wee to work on the reconstruction of the city after the devastating earthquakes.

He knows building professionals and resources are stretched to their limits – so building a home from shipping containers seems a pragmatic and creative option.

If anyone could pull this off – David could – or so it seemed .  The young family move into temporary containers on site while David works on their home after hours.

But when the build falls a year behind schedule they have to wonder if Christchurch has got the better of them.

Episode 8 – Earthquake Rebuild

A Christchurch family is determined to stay in South Brighton despite ongoing earthquakes, the fact their house is built on a destabilised sand dune.

Andrei and Abby Martin are going to demolish their damaged cottage and build a prototype earthquake-proof home that can withstand shakes, create its own power and – in the case of future quakes – be able to feed it back to their neighbours.

Andrei is determined his home will ‘give back’ to his community who not only helped each other during the quakes, but raised money to fund an experimental treatment for a rare terminal cancer he is living with.