Grand Designs

Series 12 - Episode 2



Celia and Diana have been together for 25 years and plan to retire. So they’ve bought an acre of Hertfordshire and are risking their life savings on a flashy new house. Who’s their architect? Well, that’s the catch – there isn’t one. Instead there’s a pair of skinny industrial designers with east London haircuts who reckon they can make a building on site out of wooden boxes “like big boys’ Lego”, says Celia. But in practice it’s more like a giant Airfix kit.

The technology is fun to watch and it’s an idea that could transform the construction industry. But will it work? Finding out involves a brilliant computer-controlled saw, some polite arguments and a very big hammer called “the Persuader”.


Kevin McCloud meets a pair of civil-partnered university professors in Hertfordshire who have decided to build their first home from scratch. In addition to all the complications this usually entails, Celia Brackenridge and Diana Woodward have also enlisted the services of industrial designers who have developed a new computer-assisted method for cutting precision-engineered building blocks from scratch. However, though the technique may be clever, its creators have never created a building before - meaning everyone involved with the project is taking a giant leap into the unknown.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Kevin McCloud
Director Catey Sexton
Executive Producer Fiona Caldwell
Series Producer Mike Ratcliffe