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Grand Designs House Of the Year: Northern Ireland heads up shortlist

Grand Designs, the popular property programme, started its new series last week with the first instalment of Riba House of the Year Awards.

Last week, two properties were shortlisted for the final including the dramatic Flint House, a wedge shaped building designed to look as if it was emerging from the earth. Tonight, more contenders will be visited and explored including a home built in bright orange metal.

During the first episode, presenter Kevin McLoud stated that more properties on the shortlist come from one region than any other - Northern Ireland. So here is a look at some of the Northern Irish contenders from the 20 houses that have been put forth for the title of Best Home in Britain.

Grillagh Water

Located in Derry, Northern Ireland, Grillagh Water was built from four shipping containers stacked on top of each other. Architect Patrick Bradley’s vision turned an assortment of five year old containers into a sleek and beautiful rural Irish home.

Victoria Road

Situated in Holywood, a suburban town on the outskirts of Belfast, Victoria Road is a modern and private family home, constructed on a plot that the majority of builders would not usually regard with favour. The architect, however, grew up on this street and built the home to reflect the size and appearance of a traditional California study house.

House At Maghera

This family dwelling is located on the edge of a clachan, or small cluster of farms, outside of the Mourne Moun in County Down, Ireland. Constructed in a style that brings famed Mexican architect Luis Barragan to mind, the building comprises two traditional linear building types and work was carried out to an extremely high standard.


Structural Defects Insurance

The full list of contenders and the eventual winner will be announced on the programme in the coming weeks, and property expert Kevin McLoud will be instrumental in choosing a winner from the 20 homes that are presently shortlisted.

When asked what makes a house a ‘home’, Kevin said the key factor was “autobiography.” He talked about buildings that have accommodated families for years, and show the signs in the form of drawings on the walls, general scuffing, and other evidence of having been lived in. He added that some buildings are better at accommodating these changes than others.


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