Sunday 8 January 2017

Review: The World's Most Extraordinary Homes, BBC2

I chanced upon this television programme the other day, the first in a 4-part series, and I've been hooked. The Series is presented by actor and property developer Caroline Quentin, and architect Piers Taylor. In the first episode they visit some extraordinary houses in mountainous locations, and I found it engrossing.

All the houses were utterly modern, and completed within the last 10 years. They were located in different locations: mountains in New Zealand, California, the Arizona desert, and the Swiss Alps. Each one was a response to a different environment. One of the houses had a roof made from an old Boeing 747 wing. Another had walls made of rammed earth. They were all very different and all very beautiful.

It was especially interesting to have the architect explain, with the aid of sketches showing the plans and sections, how each house worked, and how the design adapted to the surroundings. At a time when many people are hostile to the idea of modern construction in the countryside, this programme shows how the best architecture of our time can surpass that of the past. It was good having a pair of presenters, one an architect and the other an enthusiast, to bounce ideas and responses off each other.

Here is a BBC preview and discussion about the series:

The next episode is about house in the forest, and I look forward to watching it.

The World's Most Extraordinary Homes, currently on BBC2 and BBC iPlayer

Piers Taylor, the architect and co-presenter, is the founder of Invisible Studio.

Houses featured:
747 Wing House, Malibu, California, USA

Tucson Mountain Retreat, Arizona, USA

Te Kaitaka, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

House on the Rigi, Switzerland