Grand Designs

Series 11 - Episode 4



Kevin McCloud is a master of conveying a lot with just a tiny noise. As the owners of a gigantic, 16th-century listed barn outline their vision for turning it into a family home, you can hear the smallest “oh” leave McCloud’s mouth. You or I would shout, “ARE YOU MAD?” but Kevin just says a meaningful “oh”.

Freddie and Ben are a pair of trendy artists who, with their daughter Willa, have left their small London flat
to move into said Essex barn, given to them by Ben’s parents. They have a renovation budget of £650,000
and a goal: they do not want a “cosy” home. “Cosy” is right out. They want a big living/work space where Ben can weld his sculptures and they can display their acres
of arty toys and other stuff.

Freddie, like so many people featured in Grand Designs, doesn’t want to live like the rest of us, no, she isn’t like you and me. “No nice-ification. No trees in pots. No hanging baskets,” she sneers. No, she wants to live somewhere with two enormous grain silos in the living room.


Kevin McCloud follows a project by artists Freddie Robins and Ben Coode-Adams to convert a large, Grade II-listed timber-framed barn in Essex into a family home and workspace. Their plans involve a minimal number of interior walls to display their collection of toys, but at seven times the size of an average three-bedroom house, the transformation of the 500-year-old building proves extremely challenging.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Kevin McCloud
Director Ann Lalic
Executive Producer Charlie Bunce
Executive Producer Fiona Caldwell
Series Producer Mike Ratcliffe