Chal­lenge’s home-grown ver­sion

Matamata Chronicle - - Building -

If you’re will­ing to suf­fer heartache, stress and po­ten­tial bankruptcy in the bid to build your grand, dream home, tele­vi­sion ex­ec­u­tives want you.

Ap­pli­cants are be­ing sought for a Kiwi ver­sion of the hugely pop­u­lar Bri­tish se­ries Grand De­signs, to be screened on TV3.

In the Bri­tish show, host Kevin McCloud takes view­ers through the trans­for­ma­tion of de­cay­ing build­ings into in­spi­ra­tional works of ar­chi­tec­ture glory, of­ten with over-blown bud­gets and tears.

Grand De­sign NZ is in the early stages of pro­duc­tion by Imag­i­na­tion TV, the com­pany be­hind MasterChef and New Zealand’s Got Talent.

Talk has al­ready started on who might host the New Zealand show but TV3 is keep­ing its lips sealed on po­ten­tial can­di­dates.

Award-win­ning ar­chi­tect Pip Cheshire said he knew some­one be­ing screen­tested for the role but would not be drawn on names.

A good host would cut through the con­fus­ing el­e­ments of ar­chi­tec­ture and ex­plain clearly what makes a project spe­cial, he said.

‘‘The thing that is re­ally im­por­tant is to speak in a lay per­son’s lan­guage about the mys­ter­ies of what people are try­ing to do when they make a one-off build­ing.’’

He could see the show be­ing a hit with New Zealand au­di­ences.

‘‘Build­ing is like an opera. There are he­roes and vil­lains. House build­ing is also so close to Kiwi hearts.

‘‘The Bri­tish se­ries finds people with in­cred­i­bly heroic dreams. Right from the first five min­utes I just sit there speech­less and think, how are you pos­si­bly go­ing to do that by win­ter, but that’s what makes great tele­vi­sion.’’

The new se­ries comes on the back of New Zealand’s love af­fair with DIY projects and build­ing se­ries such as hit re­al­ity show The Block NZ.

Me­di­aWorks spokes­woman Rachel Lorimer said 10 hour-long episodes would screen in 2015 at the ear­li­est.

New Zealand grand de­sign­ers will also con­tend with lo­cal chal­lenges such as coun­cil per­mits and new earthquake build­ing codes.

Imag­i­na­tion TV is on the hunt for in­ter­est­ing and in­spi­ra­tional home builds to be filmed over the next 18 months.

TVNZ screened its own an­swer to Grand De­signs this month.

The Art of the Ar­chi­tect fol­lows a dif­fer­ent ar­chi­tect each week as they at­tempt to cre­ate the build­ing dream of a fam­ily or com­mu­nity.

Hosted by Peter El­liott, the se­ries fol­lows the trans­for­ma­tion from empty site to fin­ished house.

Cheshire’ – ar­chi­tect Pip

Grand De­signs

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