Grand Designs

Series 12 - Episode 4

Mon 4 Dec 7:55pm - 9pm More4


Lysette and Nigel Offley say their innovative design for a new Thameside home is “an expression of what we value”. Unfortunately their neighbours describe it as a futuristic shoebox, which is not what they want to see nestling among the traditional structures of Lower Shiplake. To make matters worse, Lysette and Nigel knocked down a charming old boathouse in order to build it.

However, criticism from the local community is not their only problem. They also can’t find a contractor prepared to build over the water. Will they achieve their vision of a building that changes the architectural language of the river, wonders Kevin McCloud.


Kevin McCloud follows Lysette and Nigel Offley, who are knocking down an old Thames boathouse and constructing a cutting-edge home in its place. Taking inspiration from the river itself, they have designed a building of waves and curves with a huge glass porthole for a roof light. But problems begin almost from the start, as they cannot find a contractor willing to build over the water, their architect leaves unexpectedly and the costs turn out much higher than expected. To make matters worse, the neighbours are not happy about such a radical sight in their traditional community. As they begin to compromise, Kevin wonders if the couple's dreams will ever be realised.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Kevin McCloud
Director Ned Williams
Executive Producer Fiona Caldwell
Series Producer Michael Ratcliffe
Series Producer John Lonsdale