Grand Designs Australia

Episode Guide

Brookfield Spotted Gum

Series 5 · Episode 8

Milly Davenport has lived with her two children, in the Brisbane valley of Brookfield for 6 years before she met Andrew Wilson. In time it became the base for their blended family, with the added bonus that it was perfect for their shared dream of eventually running a small farm with livestock.

They had already started buying cattle, but with the old run down weather board cottage well past its used by date and bulging at the seams, it was clear they need a new proper operational base – a modern farmhouse.

The brief to their architect was simple. A home that not only makes the very best of its location, but is truly unique. In short, as different as possible from the traditional ranch style and Queenslander neighbours. 

And their architect certainly delivered. Telescopic in shape, angular and modern, it will rise from one storey to three and culminate in a two storey high glazed portal that will frame the master bedroom. Projecting out of the landscape and clad in natural materials like Spotted Gum boards and with a base made of natural stone, it is certainly a contemporary take on rural living.

The experts have delivered an extraordinary design. Now it’s time for the amateurs to build it.

Andrew does have skills; it’s just that they are in plumbing. But undeterred, he sets out with his right hand man Hamish, an accomplished carpenter, to bring this dynamic form to life. 

Milly, an academic, will provide advice that is, well, academic…something that won’t be wasted because this design needs an intellectual approach. The problem is, she’ll be busy working so won’t be there for the key decisions.

This extraordinary new building has the potential to be life changing – something that Andrew and Milly can claim as their own. But the scope of the project is breath-taking. Even the architect admits this is no easy build.

It’s supposed to be the next step in their lives together – but as Andrew becomes swamped in a quagmire of decision making and a clear shortfall of skills, the danger is that now it might have the exact opposite effect.


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