Will a historic site be ruined forever in Grand Designs?

Best on the Box choice for September 15th.

Grand Designs

Only a few lucky residents get to live in the highly decorative Arts and Crafts houses of the 19th century, amid the dramatic Scottish countryside, on a country estate originally conceived by renowned architect Sir Robert Lorimer.

Those who live there cherish the atmosphere, beauty and heritage. But what if an outsider wants to come in and plonk an enormous black minimalist rectangular building right into the centrepiece of the estate: the beautiful walled garden? That’s what architect Iain and his wife Jenny intend to do.

Their grand vision also involves connecting the new black-clad block to a dilapidated but charming listed gardener’s bothy, through the historic high garden wall. Having spent £225,000 on the bothy and gardens, they have just £350,000 to spend on a project combining the startlingly new with delicate conservation. The neighbours are watching.

The project gets off to an inauspicious start as Iain dumps 40 tonnes of earth into the middle of the cultivated garden. And it’s not long before the garden wall starts looking sorry for itself when several huge holes are smashed through to connect the bothy to the new building. With the bothy proving far more time consuming and costly to restore and convert than expected, concerns about whether this historic site will be ruined forever hang over the entire project…

Channel 4, 9 pm

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