When it comes to creating extraordinary houses, the focus is often placed on the ingenuity of the building itself, but for The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, it is the successful fusion of design and location that sets them apart.
The first series steps inside houses that challenge the possibilities of their surroundings, providing an immersive glimpse into what life is really like behind the most unique of doors. From the outset, it goes beyond the process of simply designing and building a one-of-a-kind home. For starters, the focus is on life after the build, when the home is at its best – lived-in and well established. There’s also no fear of ending an episode with an incomplete project or catastrophic budget blow-out: money is no object here.
Take, for instance, the 747 Wing House, which repurposed the wings and tail fins of a decommissioned Boeing 747 to create the framework for a sustainable home, high in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu. Not only did the parts of the aircraft have to be helicoptered in to reach such an extreme location, but the home itself required the permission of 17 government agencies for fear it could be mistaken for a downed aircraft. The result? An award-winning home with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean that was well worth the effort.
Later, the episode travels a little closer to home on the shores of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, to Te Kaitaka, a cedar-covered origami-inspired home that blends seamlessly with the deep valleys of the region.
Though these buildings are literally a world apart, each episode is themed around a particular landscape, from mountain ranges to forests, by the sea and even underground, celebrating the effortless sense of harmony between house and environment.
The BBC series’ popularity is no doubt driven by the passion of its hosts, actress and presenter Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly, Jonathan Creek) and award-winning architect Piers Taylor, a duo that are the perfect combination of enthusiasm and expertise, as they explore 16 properties over the series’ four hour-long episodes. Quentin’s excitement is particularly infectious; she’s like any one of us who, given the chance, would jump up and down at the sight of a pool in mid-air.
The two do so much more than just visit incredible properties. Instead, they put both form and function to the test, lucky enough to be handed the keys and invited to stay overnight at each of the homes, immersing themselves in the lifestyle of those lucky enough to call them their own.
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes combines the beauty and awe of travel with all the fun and excitement of life in the most beautiful homes in the world. Put simply, it’s the kind of blissful escapism that never gets old and will have you impatient for next week’s adventure.
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes premieres on SBS Friday 9 October at 8:30pm, with episodes airing over four weeks.