'It's grotesque!' Grand Designs viewers brand 21st century country mansion big enough for THREE generations to live in as 'ugly and pretentious' - despite it being named House of the Year 2017
- The sprawling Caring Wood, nestled in the Kent countryside, has been crowned House of the Year 2017
- The new-build, dubbed a '21st century country mansion, is home to three generations of the same family
- But some viewers said the property was 'indulgent' and there were other more worthy winners on the list?
- On Twitter, one called the house 'grotesque' while another said it was 'ugly' outside and 'mundane' inside?
- The impressed judges noted it allows us to question the 'future of housing and of multi-generational living'
- The home beat shortlisted properties to take home the title on Tuesday night's episode of Grand Designs
One man's home is another man's hell, as the winner of House of the Year 2017 is discovering after scooping the prestigious Grand Designs prize.?
Viewers tuning into the House of the Year programme last night were quick to berate the judges for crowning 'an oast house on steroids' the winner.?
Carey Wood, which stands at 13 times the size of an average three-bedroom house, and comes with its own music hall, multi-storey courtyard and underground tunnels, was condemned as 'ugly and pretentious' by viewers.?
The vast new-build impressed judges with its 'multi-generational living' space thanks to its ability to house 15 members of one extended family - but plenty of those watching fell other winners were more worthy.
On Twitter, John Mundy wrote: 'Very disappointed with the grotesque winner @GrandDesigns house of the year.'
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Winner: Caring Wood, in Kent, pictured, was crowned House of the Year on Tuesday night's episode of Grand Designs...but some viewers accused the property, which can house 15 people, of looking 'ugly' and 'pretentious'
Modern family living or a vanity project for the rich: The winning home?impressed judges with its 'multi-generational living' space but some of those watching the show said its pared down interiors were mundane and inspiring?
Central point:?The hidden three-storey courtyard sits in the centre of the main house - and is used for 'quiet contemplation'
@davidwfrench wrote: '#HouseOfTheYear2017 #HouseOfTheYear @GrandDesigns @RIBA Winner was a lot of ugly and pretentious outside, for not a lot of mundane and uninspiring inside.'?
Another viewer, @donna1501 said she felt 'really let down by the winner. The most money thrown at it wins. Better houses in shortlist.'?
The property's sheer indulgence - in space and design - seemed to be at the heart of the criticism.?
The elaborate family home consists of a central square building, complete with a performance space and art gallery, and four individual living quarters connected onto it by hidden walkways.
The grandchildren of the family communicate between the buildings using walkie-talkies, and the house is zero-carbon, leading to it being billed as the '21st century country mansion'.?
Whilst the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) judging panel accepted that the 'ambitious' scale of the project – the five buildings extend to 1,450 sq ft – was unlikely to be replicated, they championed how its concept of multi-generational living could be applied to dense 'urban' environments.
Presenter Kevin McCloud asked jury chair Deborah Staunt: 'You must have had some misgivings about the cost of this kind of scheme because it doesn't exactly set a template for your average three-bedroom family home?'
However, Miss Staunt responded: 'That's where we had our passionate conversation. Because this shows that homes can still evolve, and it challenges you to say "how can you share your home?"??
At one with nature:?The extensive landscaping surrounding the house, pictured, is still in its infancy, yet there is already evidence as to how this will help to seamlessly connect the house to its setting, a year or two from now, the judges noted
Perfect balance: The layout of the sprawling home allows the family to enjoy being together and apart from each other
Comprimise: The elegant home, pictured, offers plenty of room for privacy but the family still comes together for meal times
Grand piano: The concert hall is one of the most striking features of the entire property, welcoming visitors into the open space with wonderful acoustics
Modern art: The courtyard is a piece of art in itself with a fabulous sculpture sitting within the water feature and a double height ceiling
Bird's eye view: The architect used the land to dictate how the building would sit, weaving it up and around the hills to create the geometric shapes
'Is this a model you could apply in a denser, urban situation, maybe with co-housing? Do we need all this individualized space, can we actually share space in different ways?'?
Modern family living
Caring Wood houses 15 family members across three generations, challenging the concept of multi-generational living.?
As well as enough bedrooms and a large enough living space, the home also boasts features including: ?
- Music hall
- Multi-storey courtyard?
- Underground tunnels
- Four separate living quarters
- Performance space?
- Art gallery?
Eight years in the making, Caring Wood, in Kent, was commissioned to allow for three generations of an extended family to come together and was partly inspired by the design of a traditional Oast house, where hips were dried.
More than 150,000 handmade tiles were used on the rooftops, and over 27,000 trees were planted on the estate.
Architect Niall Maxwell, who designed the impressive along with James MacDonald Wright, said yesterday: 'It makes you think differently about what a home is and what shared and private space becomes.?
'That has been tested through the project - how much private housing does each family receive? Do you have your own kitchen and living room? At what point do you need a sense of privacy?
'The kitchen is extensive and it can accommodate for 15 or 16 family members. That was the driver for it. You come together for meals but then you have enough space and hidden space to escape and have private time.'
He added: 'We knew this was a house for 100 years, not for 10 or 20.'
RIBA President Ben Derbyshire said: 'It's a house built for multiple generations of a growing family and allows the owner's daughters, their husbands and their children to reside under one roof – cleverly accommodating their desire to be together and their desire to be apart.?
Connected to nature: The family planted more than 27,000 trees on the estate, which stretches across 84 acres in Kent
Space for family: The kitchen and dining area in the main house has enough space for the different generations to gather round and socialise
Open to all: The entrance is also an art gallery, featuring stunning pieces of work that sit alongside the modern family home
Landscape: Caring Wood's garden is something to behold, with a large pond surrounded by beautiful plants and trees that captures the essence of nature
Simplistic: The red tiled floor is featured throughout the entire home that gives it a warm feel in each room. The living areas in each oast house are kept minimal and neat
Connected: The separate buildings are joined together by walkways, staircases, both pictured, and underground tunnels
At the top of a set of stairs there is a study, tucked away and private in one of the four houses located at each corner of the sprawling estate
The entire property is surrounded by hundreds of trees the family have planted, and lends to its name Caring Wood, which is carbon neutral
Ambitious: The judges noted how Caring Wood, pictured, 'allows us to question the concept of multi-generational living'
'This ambitious house explores new architectural methods, materials and crafts and allows us to question the future of housing and the concept of multi-generational living. I've no doubt many of the ideas displayed at Caring Wood will influence UK housing for many years to come.'
But the house was not to everyone's tastes, with some viewers hitting out at the judge's decision when it made the shortlist.?
One said that it was a 'rambling hodge podge', while another described it as a 'hideous monstrosity of a building'. A third wrote that it was 'Awful looking. More like a hotel than a home. It would be the bottom of my list.'
... And the breathtaking properties that were shortlisted for the coveted prize
The Quest, Dorset?
Elegant: Film producer Charles Denton and his wife Penny spent 20 years searching for the perfect piece of land on which to build their dream home. They finally found it on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset and spent ￡750,000 creating this masterpiece. The spacious living room, pictured, is 8m wide and judges complimented the couple on the simplicity of the design
Challenge: The 250 sq m property is built onto a cantilever, which architects created by building a concrete foundation beneath the side of the house that was set on the ground, to balance with the side built atop a stone wall. Inside the house is even more striking, and features huge windows that allow sunlight to stream in and offer views of the rolling countryside
Shawm House, Northumbria?
Contrasts: Built on a Northumberland farm, Shawm House is an perfect example of marrying the old with the new. The 'upside down' carbon neutral farmhouse, which cost ￡420,000 to build, is inspired by traditional old cottages that held livestock at the bottom and living quarters on top.?The bedrooms are on the ground floor, freeing up the upstairs for a spacious living area
New perspective: The ground floor has three bedrooms and a utility room while the top floor features an enormous open plan kitchen and living area, pictured. The unconventional layout means the upstairs living quarters benefit from additional space and height, not to mention the inspiring vista visible from the large windows, seen at the back of the room above
Ness Point, Dover?
Breathtaking: This interior wouldn't look out of place in the Hollywood Hills but is in fact perched atop the White Cliffs of Dover. Folding walls and screens that open the space and make use of the stunning views from the large living area, pictured
Mirroring the landscape: The smooth, white undulating exterior is inspired by the White Cliffs on which the property sits
6 Wood Lane, London??
?Top deck:?A sweeping circular staircase takes the visitor right up to the mezzanine floor, pictured, a living space and a winter garden that looks out into the prestigious south London suburb. The property even features portholes for windows
Nautical feel: The four-storey property which features a solid circular front that faces the street, and a upturned glass hull perched on top, pictured. It has been ridiculed by neighbours throughout the 12-year build but left impressed the judges
Newhouse of Auchengree,?North Ayrshire
Modern twist: In Ayrshire, retired GP Mike Law and his wife Sally spent ￡600,000 building the Newhouse on old farm land at Auchengree, which they styled to look like an updated barn. The farmhouse style is functional as well as striking
Family living:?The Newhouse is a series of three buildings that have been connected together; with one building housing the master bedrooms, the other a kitchen and living room, and the third used as an outhouse for guest bedrooms and storage
Hidden House, London
Tucked away:?Hidden House was created from a former caretaker's house located in the grounds of a converted Victorian school in London.?The single storey home is just?72sqm but is flooded with light thanks to carefully placed windows
Minimalist magic: The unique property was praised for the design by RIBA judges for its expert craftsmanship and they remarked that the 'quality of the polished concrete was some of the best they’d ever seen'
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