This property series explores the World’s Most Extraordinary Homes in different corners of the world, from going under forests to far-off coasts, to mountains way above sea level, going there through a cable car, a motorboat, and in some cases just by walking as there’s no road. The show is hosted by architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin who provide insights into the show while discovering these extraordinary abodes.
MOUNTAINS, SEASON 1: EPISODE 1
1. 747 Wing House by David Hertz Architects
This house as the name suggests is built from the wings and tail fins of a disused Boeing 747. It’s an award-winning house based in California. Of course, building such a house comes with its complications and problems like accessing permissions and transportation. But, according to Piers (our host), planes are the best-engineered things in the world, and aircraft wings are the best ventilators. Since they have got both of them, the temperature really can be bear.
2. The Cloak House by Gary Lawson and Nicholas Stevens
This house which when looked upon from above sure does look like an origami structure. The shape of this house is that of a mountain. It’s located in Auckland, North Island, built by two award-winning architects Gary Lawson and Nicholas Stevens. The sunlight enters from the back in this house and goes about lighting towards the front. No metal and timber have been used in this house; it’s made out of concrete on the inside and a wooden cedar cladding on the outside.
3. House on the Rigi by AFGH Architects
Located in the Alps, at 1665m above sea level, this house can be accessed through the use of a cable car in very harsh winter weather. This house when looking at it from outside as one of our hosts said it is like a chocolate box chalet. It’s made out of pre-fabricated Plywood walls and concrete. These walls make one feel warm and give out a wooden scent, for obvious reasons. It’s sculptural and it looks different from every angle. It transports you and creates a surreal atmosphere.
FORESTS, SEASON 1: EPISODE 2
1. Casa Levene by NO.MAD Architects
It’s a maze of angular engineering as from the outside; the building is clad in basalt in contrast with the colorful interiors which reflect the trees. It truly is a house that breathes with trees. How the color theory can be used and implemented can be learned from this house. The colors on the inside of this house are blue and green that helps one to relax and focus. Whereas, orange and red help in lifting one’s mood. It’s a quirky house that doesn’t give away much from the outside.
2. Tower House by Gluck Architects
This house is built by an architect who hails from a family of architects. It fits on a small footprint almost the size of a static caravan and conserves woodland. The actual house starts at 30ft. above the ground meaning the below part is for stairs, and just one room and the main living area is at the top. It changes the perspective to look at things and architecture. It’s clad in glass and is in a bright yellow shade. According to Caroline, it’s frivolous.
3. Shokan, New York by Jay Bargmann
In order to reach this place, you must grab a plane our hosts reach here in a helicopter. To maximize the view, the architects have turned the angle of the house in such a manner that on three sides, the forest is visible and on the other, water. The house is concrete with steel and tinted glass has been used to wrap it. Open-plan living and spaces dominate this house without windows and doors. The stairs are made by the people who made Louvre in Paris. It gives panoramic views and is majestic. It has a magnificent entrance and gives the most attention to detail.
4. Under Pohutukawa by Herbst Architects
These award-winning architects made a breathtaking house at Piha, West Coast, New Zealand. Breathing under Pohutukawa trees, this house is entirely made of plywood with bits of timber. There are secret spaces in this house; it also resists seismic currents which are very common in that area. It’s a see-through house with cladding that is textured, layered, and rich. The structural limbs of this house are inspired by those that surround it.
COASTS, SEASON 1: EPISODE 3
1. Cabin Lyngholmen by Lund Hagem Architects
Located in Norway, Kristiansand where the temperature can reach about -20 degrees. A motorboat is taken to reach Paradise Island. It’s a windswept site with a one-floor plan with concrete dominating the house and limited floor space. This house is just another wonder of this award-winning architect.
2. House on the Cliff by GilBartolome Architects
Situated in the Costa Tropical region of Spain, it’s located on a steep cliff which required clever engineering building it from the top to the bottom and not the other way round so that it doesn’t fall into the sea below. This house looks like an oyster to Caroline with a Gaudi-Esque ceiling and unusual bespoke features. It looks like animal skin due to its zinc tiles. It’s made by a pair of young architects and it sure does show their vivacity.
3. Waterfall Bay House by Bossley Architects
This house is owned by a man to whom light plays the most crucial role. He is the cinematographer of movies like Gravity, Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter, and Midnight Express, you guessed it right, he is Michael Seresin and this is his house. This house is built out of recycled reclaimed hardwoods. It provides a history of it. It is made out of Jarrah wood also known as ironbark. The house is splendid and gorgeous with the sound of waterfall coming, with trees peering out and the flora and fauna around it.
4. Two Hulls by Mackay Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Mackay Lyons is an award-winning regional architect with his work known internationally. This house found in Nova Scotia Canada faces the Atlantic Ocean, inspired by two docks of a ship it’s connected by steel and cedar. It’s huge with a 32ft high living room. It gives the impression of twig trusses or cantilevers. It has to be reached by walking only as there is no road to reach there.
That’s all for season one, from the minus degree temperatures of mountains to the forty degrees temperatures of coasts, we have taken you through all; from concrete to steel to wood to all the material that has been used. This show is a must-watch for architecture lovers.