Andy Stakes has been an Express customer since 2014 carrying out several projects in West Yorkshire over a five year period. In 2018, we received architects plans from Andy for a very special project in a very exposed location. The plan was to transform a former MOD listening post into a new-build home, a project so unique that it was chosen to be featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.
The popular TV programme followed the build progress as Kevin McCloud met Andy Stakes and Jeanette Hardy, as they were about to build their new house on top of a sheer cliff on the west coast of Scotland in the remote coastal corner of Galloway. The pair wanted to spend £250,000 on a two-bedroom, glass-fronted and earth-sheltered home for themselves and their two beloved Newfoundland dogs. However, construction on such an exposed site is fraught with danger and the TV cameras followed the progress as the pair faced no end of problems throughout the build, and a significant last-minute design change.
We had to deliver products that would complement the aesthetic of this ambitious build, whilst also installing products suitable for an exposed location. Panoramic glazing was a key requirement for the project, so we used a glazed curtain wall system to create huge picture windows that suit the homes modern interior. We offer various curtain walling solutions as it is completely bespoke and specified on location but because the glazing didn’t span above one level, we used the slimmest transoms available, meaning the huge expanses of glazing boast a minimal sightline of just 35mm. The perfect solution for creating a modern space with maximum glazing and minimal sightlines.
Our sliding door solutions have been used throughout the rest of the home. XP Glide sliding doors, with a matching 35mm sightline complement our 35mmPD curtain walling perfectly, so was installed in the kitchen creating matching sightlines throughout the open-plan kitchen and living space. Lift & Slide patio doors have been used throughout the bedrooms and bathrooms, as our lift and slide doors offer fantastic weather ratings even in the most exposed of locations. This unique build doesn’t contain traditional windows so the lift & slide mechanisms allows for ventilation throughout the home as the doors can be locked in place but in an open position.
The end result is stunning and the unique home, built just 100ft from cliff edge boasts full height glazing throughout meaning on a clear day it’s possible to see as far as Belfast harbour. Kevin McCloud summarised the episode by saying that he believes ‘every good home should benefit from a naked view, that is a window or skylight that allows you to sunbathe or star bathe whilst standing or laying naked on the floor, and this house has several!‘
The homeowners are thrilled with their Grand Design home ‘everything we’ve spent on it was well spent,’ said Jeanette. ‘This house was never part of the grand plan. This just came along and neither of us could resist it. ‘Because I was travelling so much I don’t think I ever really fully understood how spectacular this place was going to be. It’s just amazing, it’s fantastic. I don’t see any reason to be anywhere else.’