Grand Designs Australia

Episode Guide

Inverloch Sand Dune House

Series 4 · Episode 1

With the long term plan to opt out for a simpler lifestyle, city slickers Glen and Kate Morris were delighted when they found 19 windswept acres near the seaside town of Inverloch on Victoria’s south coast.

Sure, they wanted a more humble life but the journey in creating their new house would be the antithesis of that…because their plan was for something completely untested – a design based on a barchan sand dune…an arc shaped sand ridge.

The idea for the shape came first – conceived not from the floor up, but from the form down and that meant working out a floor plan to fit the crescent shape. Inside, 7 free standing rammed earth walls separate the spaces as well as help support a ‘ring-beam’ of super strong laminated timber, one of many invented systems in this house, that encircles the entire perimeter and props up a grand vaulted ceiling.
This is an adventurous and challenging undertaking but Glen and Kate’s plan is to resolve any tricky geometry early on with a super scaled model… well as put an end to the one big sticking point - the height of the cathedral like ceiling.
It’s the first of many compromises they face in building what is quickly dubbed the ’UFO’ house.

Experiments by their mere nature are often open ended and costly and this one is no exception. Faced with escalating costs and slow progress Glen takes an early retirement and moves to the site in an effort to get things moving.

But nothing in this project is straightforward from lifting 700 kilo sheets of double glazing and fitting sheets of pure zinc roofing, to creating a network of intricate ceiling timber batons that look more like the carcass of a whale!

Will Glen and Kate get through this complex and difficult construction and end up with their original concept or will they be forced to trim and modify because curves simply cost too much?


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Posted by Claire460Report
This house has the most beautiful interior ceiling I have ever seen. We have also used a lot of Ash timber in our home renovations and it is a beautiful timber which develops as it ages. My husband is also a civil engineer and I cannot wait to show him this episode when he returns from the Outback. He will appreciate far better than me, the enormous technical challenges undertaken here. Congratulations to Glen and Kate and also to their exceptional architect and builder.