A couple of weeks ago, at 9:36 on a Wednesday evening, a friend of mine posted this on Facebook:
Does anyone know if Zak Lacey is ok? Grand Designs has been on 36 minutes and he’s not moaning yet
You can probably tell where I’m going with this….
I used to really like Grand Designs. There used to be some really interesting projects with some interesting clients, but in the last couple of series’ that has changed dramatically.
Instead of the designs being grand, nowadays, they’re more likely to be weird/out of context/pretentious (delete as appropriate). The clients, rather than being interesting or perhaps eccentric, now seem to range from arrogant to downright rude.
A few weeks ago for instance, one couple bought a boathouse on the Thames, and replaced it with what can only be described as the most inappropriate thing I’ve experienced since U2’s “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, was played at a wedding I went to.
Now, don’t get me wrong, in a different context, the building might have worked well, it was sort of sandbanks esque, but on the Thames surrounded by charming old boathouses it looked like an act of vandalism frankly. To make it worse, in order to contextualise it the Architect had put a wavy roof on it, so it would blend in with the river. I kid you not.
To make it worse still, Kevin Mcloud was strutting around the place proudly proclaiming it as a victory for modern Architecture.
Understandably, the neighbours were none too happy, which led the client to remark that he was pleased that they hated it. I’m sorry, but that’s just rude!
Architecture should never simply be about making a statement and to hell with everyone else. Yes there is a place for modern innovative design, but intelligence MUST be applied when deciding where that place is. On the banks of the river Thames surrounded by historical beauty it ain’t….
Now, I’m aware I’ve started ranting, so I’m going to turn it over to you dear reader, what do you make of Grand Designs? Is it Grand or Gross?