Award-winning architect Piers Taylor and actress and property enthusiast Caroline Quentin (who previously presented Restoration Home for BBC Two) explore a range of incredible architect-designed houses in extreme locations around the world.
Whether built into the side of a cliff, nestled in a forest, perched at the top of a mountain or under the earth, these are homes that connect to their environment in a spectacular way.
Each episode of the 4x60’ series is themed according to the houses’ environments: Coast, Forest, Mountain and Underground, with Caroline and Piers travelling to locations ranging from North America, Australasia and Europe.
To explore how these dramatic designs function as both works of architecture and as real houses, they stay overnight, eat meals and spend time in the homes. Piers and Caroline are a new and entertaining pairing of a property expert and an architect, both bringing their own expertise, humour and experience as they meet some of the owners and architects of these incredible buildings.
In episode one, their journey starts in the Santa Monica mountains in California, where one homeowner built her dream home from the most unthinkable re-used building material - the wings and tail fins of a disused Boeing 747, which had to be delivered onto the mountain site by helicopter.
Their next stop takes them to the desert Tuscon Mountain Range of Arizona, where Caroline and Piers spend the day and stay overnight in a stunning modern house which is heavily influenced by ancient building methods. The home has an innovative take on traditional rammed earth houses, a centuries-old technique that absorbs the heat during the day and releases it at night, reducing the need for air-conditioning and heating.
Next, Caroline and Piers go to the other side of the world to New Zealand’s South Island. Designed to fit within strict planning regulations, the house was inspired by the surrounding trees and mountains and is camouflaged using wooden cedar cladding to cloak the building, and with fireplaces cast in concrete.
The last stop takes them to the Swiss Alps, to a unique alpine chalet. Arriving by cable car, Piers and Caroline discover it’s hexagonal shape gives it stability in the freezing winter winds, while the steel chimney core that anchors the house to the mountain also distributes heat around the house. As the mists clear, an incredible panoramic view of the Alps is revealed.
A new series from Wall To Wall, (a Warner Bros Television Production UK Ltd company).