Surprisingly in Australia, Grand Designs UK and New Zealand are given more exposure than the home grown version. A few years ago when we emigrated to this fantastic country my wife’s cousin bought us a DVD set of Grand Designs Australia. The show is hosted by the charismatic Peter Maddison who is a renowned architect in his own right. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Adelaide Airport three years ago and found him to be absolutely delightful. Hopefully one the fantastic properties he has created for his own firm will be showcased in a forthcoming book I am writing.

Recently on Grand Designs Australia they featured a very innovative residential development called True North. This single family residential home is located in a trendy suburb of Melbourne called Kensington. The building was created by architect Tim Hill as a home for his family. As well as working on this project Tim also runs a small design practice called Tandem with his business partner James Murray. They specialise in a diverse range of commercial, retail and residential projects of all sizes and were established in 2005.

As I have mentioned previously the current global economic climate has influenced the type of residential projects featured on shows like Grand Designs. Certainly a dwelling like True North wouldn’t be accessible to everyone but it is a lot more modest than a lot of homes I have featured. Nevertheless, limitations like a restricted plot size haven’t in anyway stifled the creativity of Tim Hill and Tandem Design.

Even though True North has a radical curvaceous appearance it does sit well with the adjoining historic stables (built in the 1880s) that occupy the same plot. Previously I was never really a fan of corrugated steel but it is very effective in this instance. Essentially Tim has created a beautiful 3-bedroom family home that appears much larger than it actually is. I feel the residence is spacious, light and finished to an exceptionally high standard. The extravagant use of organic materials like wood internally perfectly interacts with the more industrial external façade.