04 April 2007

Neo-Classical Sardine-Tin Swimming Pool

Did you watch Grand Designs tonight? it featured a chap called Dean Marks who had a passion to convert an unloved Georgian Church into a family home. He's a builder and he decided to go it alone, no conservation expert to guide him, no architect to create the design, he did all this himself and got planning permission for his design through 300 meetings with the planning officers.

Some of the things he did, were not to my taste but I would have never had tackled what Dean and his wife Hilary did, because I don't have the vision or the imagination or the drive to do it myself. His love of the building and his strength of vision were stunning. There were times when Kevin McCloud visibly blanched as Dean outlined his vision for the building but he shouldn't have worried too much. Dean saved the building he went to the experts when he knew he didn't have the skills, he listened and learned from it and he gave his family a house in a million. I was entranced the determination, the blind optimism, the canny reclamation and the sheer determination had me won over.

Dean - I salute you!


  1. i missed this one, ( i was entranced by Alan Sugar on the other side ) but it sounded really interesting. I love Kevin McCloud though, he's so wonderfully pessimistic, i love it when he starts stirring with cheeky, well aimed comments at the stressed house renovators :)

  2. Seems the best way to get under Kevin "Don't Call Me Connor" McCloud is to say that you don't need an architect. Is KM an architect because he seems to take this rather personally.

    Other than that, Grand Designs remains an interesting show. KM remains upbeat about projects and the show is something a little different from the Shock & Awe MDF carpet bombing of Home Changing Front Rooms et al.

    IMO :)

  3. Now thats what I call a do it yourselfer! I wouldn't tackle an idea like that without an army of engineers.