Grand Designs Australia Returns with Winter Specials on Lifestyle @Foxtel

Peter Maddison

Peter Maddison

Thursdays at 8.30pm from June 4, on Foxtel

There’s nothing like a mid-year slump to induce longings for a simpler life in the country, and as the days get colder and longer in June, The LifeStyle Channel on Foxtel will ignite your imagination with three never before seen specials of its hit local-production, Grand Designs Australia, and leave you just envious enough to dream of the good life.

Hosted by leading Australian architect, Peter Maddison, each episode in the three-part series will feature a different approach to building a home in regional Australia. From the artistic brothers bonding over a spectacular one bedroom creation at Yackandandah, to a pair who are swapping out their life running a grand old Bendigo bed and breakfast for a bold new and dramatically modern enterprise, and the couple building a fire proof, sustainable, non-toxic house at Kinglake

Episode 1, Yackandandah Sawmill House – A sculptor and his architect brother are building a small contemporary home using massive elements, on the edge of an escarpment in Yackandandah, northeast Victoria. All the elements will be painstakingly handcrafted on site by the brothers in the adjacent historic sawmill studio, but there are too few plans and increasingly different ideas. At some point, someone is going to have to make hard decisions. Chris is the architect, but its Bens house… so who will have the final say?

Episode 2, Harcourt Quarry – After purchasing 45 acres, including a stone quarry, at Harcourt near Bendigo, partners Art and Troy are restoring the existing 1800s granite cottage and incorporating it into a multi-level contemporary home, with a massive basement theatre, a huge open plan kitchen living area topped off with the only bedroom and glass ensuite on the third level. Tight heritage and archaeological restrictions along with permissions from parks, farming and fire departments have already cost them 4-years of planning and $80,000, so they’re champing at the bit to get going and to get it right.

Episode 3, Kinglake Non Toxic House – Kinglake, an hour from Melbourne, was one of the worst affected areas in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Dan tragically lost his home and understandably couldn’t face the prospect of re-building on the same site. He eventually found 20 acres where he could start again. So he and his partner, Vicky, are building a fire resistant, sustainable house which reflects their zero waste ideals. It’s a huge leap of faith and one that makes no guarantees. With untested systems and new technologies wrapped up inside a crushed brick industrial façade, will their $600,000 budget get them the truly sustainable rural escape they’re chasing?