The Grand Designs West Sussex pond house has a beautiful natural swimming pool

All the houses from Grand Designs 2021

Every ambitious self-build, episode by episode

By Victoria Purcell | 18 February 2022

The Grand Designs 2021 series started on Wednesday 1 September 2021 on Channel 4 and featured some amazing feats of architecture. Here’s each of the houses from the famous self-build show, episode by episode…

1. The Hux Shard, Devon

  • Single-storey house with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms
  • Initial budget: £835,000
  • Plot cost: Already owned
  • Director of design: Mick O’Connor, Squirrel Design

Joe Priday, 37, MD of a wealth management firm, and his wife Claire, 42, embarked on a complex sculptural house in rural Devon. The couple, who have three young children, commissioned a design made from 34 zinc-wrapped timber shards set in a jagged line hugging the contours of a hill. The building is carbon negative and has a hi-tech interior, but its sheer intricacy tested the engineers, the builders and the budget.

Read more: The daring Devon shard house from Grand Designs 2021

Hux Shard, Devon, from Grand Designs 2021

The Grand Designs Hux Shard, Devon. Photo: Mark Bolton

2. The triangle house in Billingshurst, West Sussex

  • Triangular build with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms
  • Initial budget £190,000
  • Plot cost: £160,000
  • Planning architect: Valerie Hinde

A carpenter specialising in high-end bespoke interiors decided to turn his hand to construction. Olaf Mason, 45, working as architectural designer, and Fritha, 42, attempted to fit a clever triangular house into a small plot constricted by a busy main road, a railway line and a sewer. It was no mean feat, but the couple took this 3D geometrical puzzle in their stride, along with the arrival of their baby daughter during the build.

Read more: The tricky triangular plot in West Sussex from Grand Designs 2021

A triangular self-build house in Billingshurst, West Sussex, from the new series of Grand Designs

Olaf’s triangle house in Billingshurst. Photo: Jefferson Smith

3. Bothy extension in Kinross, Scotland

  • Single-storey bothy extension with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms
  • Initial budget: £350,000
  • Plot cost: £225,000
  • Architect: Staran Architects

The starting point for this old-meets-new project was a hut, or bothy, once used by the gardeners of a private estate. Transforming it into a family home was the brainchild of Iain Shillady, 38, of Staran Architects and his wife Jenny, 37, a marketing manager. The couple, who have two children, restored the 150-year-old structure, along with its mature adjoining walled garden. They then linked it to a single-storey black timber-clad extension to create the living space they craved.

Read more: The Scottish bothy extension from Grand Designs 2021

Gardeners hut extension in Kinross, Scotland

The Bothy extension in Kinross. Photo: David Barbour

4. Gretta’s Malaysian pavilion in Ely, Cambridgeshire

  • Single-storey Malaysian-style house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
  • Initial budget: £300,000
  • Plot cost: £125,000
  • Designer: Carlos Gris

Teacher Gretta Funnell, 60, shared many happy years living and working in Malaysia with her late husband. Now back in the UK and wishing to honour his memory, she decided to build a home in the Malaysian style. This minimalist steel-framed box is open plan with a burnt wood exterior, an overhanging roof and a rooftop garden. The house was a true family affair as it was designed by Gretta’s nephew, project managed by her brother-in-law, and stands next to her sister and brother-in-law’s home.

Read more: Gretta’s Malaysian-inspired minimalism in Ely from Grand Designs 2021

Grand Designs Malaysian pavilion in Ely

The minimalist Malaysia-inspired pavilion in Ely. Photo: Jefferson Smith

5. Swimming pond house in Chichester, West Sussex

  • Three-storey house with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms
  • Initial budget: £650,000
  • Plot cost: £810,000
  • Architectural designer: Daniel Rowland of Studio Fuse

Seeing potential in a plot that included a 1930s house and a huge pond, architectural designer Dan, 44, and interior designer Nina Rowland, 42, built a new home on the site. The couple, who have two children, envisaged a flint and larch-wrapped house with a glass corridor leading to a single-storey kitchen. The kitchen overhangs a natural pond, so the family can simply open the doors and enjoy the water.

Read more: Dan and Nina’s waterside home in Chichester from Grand Designs 2021

Grand designs house with natural swimming pond

Dan and Nina’s swimming pond house. Photo: James French

6. Derelict mill in South Lakeland, Cumbria

  • House in a derelict mill with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, workshop and office
  • Initial budget: £250,000
  • Plot cost: £110,000
  • Architect: Tape Design

Ruth Grimshaw, 31, and Robert Glass, 35, who run the architectural practice Tape Design, planned to convert a rundown 18th-century blacking mill into their home, creative space and office. The mill’s stone shell, which had been empty and deteriorating for 60 years and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, needed full restoration. So in a clever twist the couple dropped their new timber-framed house inside the footprint of the existing building.

Read more: Rob and Ruth’s crumbling Cumbrian mill from Grand Designs 2021

Grand Designs Cumbrian mill

The Cumbrian mill. Photo: Andy Haslam

7. Flood-proofing on the Blackwater Estuary, Essex

  • Cantilevered house with 3 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms
  • Initial budget £700,000
  • Plot cost: £350,000
  • Original plans: Baca Architects

Building a new home on a 7.5-acre flood plain beside the Blackwater Estuary in Essex was a tall order for retiree Geoff Wood, 64, a first-time self-builder with finite funds. Its daring design required significant amounts of engineering to anchor it in place, and the house has a complicated industrial-strength steel frame so it can be dramatically raised 4.5m above the ground – high enough to protect it should sea levels rise.

Read more: The flood-proof cantilevered house in Essex from Grand Designs 2021

Geoff's flood-proof Grand Designs home in Essex

Geoff’s flood-proof home in Essex. Photo: Jefferson Smith


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