A £2.5 million rock-inspired home in the Devon countryside is the topic of Wednesday’s Grand Designs.
Hux Shard, located near Exeter, is the brainchild of real estate developer and supercar investor Joe, 35, and his wife Claire, who started building the futuristic home in 2017. times reports.
The couple, who have three children, gave a free reign to their architect Mick O’Connor of Squirrel Design—Joe’s only requirement was that the house was reminiscent of a sleek sports car.
The black house, covered in a £500,000 zinc cladding, was made using 300 wood beams and has 46 sheets of bespoke glass, costing £200,000. The couple admit though, that delivery drivers often struggled to find the front door to the unusual home.
The story of how Joe and Claire created the luxury home’s features in this week’s episodes of Channel 4’s Design Show.
Hux Shard, near Exeter, is the future home of real estate developer Joe O’Connor, 35, and his wife Claire. The ambitious five-bed house clad in zinc is the subject of the new Grand Design series debuting Wednesday on Channel 4 (the couple is photographed with presenter Kevin McCloud, right)
The house is inspired by piles of stones found in the wild that resemble sculptures. The ceilings are 10 meters high and a 229-foot walkway runs from one end of the house to the other.
Joe reveals that he planned to stick to a budget of £835,000 and build the property in less than seven months, but in true Grand Designs fashion, he exceeded his budget and schedule.
Joe admitted that if he had known he was going to build his super house during Brexit and the pandemic, he wouldn’t go through with the start of the project.
However, he says he’s still happy with his persistence on the project, even if some contractors describe the house as “ridiculous” and say they don’t want to live there.
He explains: ‘I wanted to build a house that no one else could do. As with supercars, it’s not an ego thing.
‘I love pushing standards and I wanted to make something that we would get hype for. I knew it would be a game changer.
The house is ultra-modern and carbon-neutral, powered by both the sun and the air. Pictured: a shower room in the house
The home is already far from many others in the area, but the property developer says planning permission officials have actively encouraged him to be brave and go for a modern home.
Authorities in East Devon told the father-of-three that the house should be of “architectural interest”. They even told him to make it as eye-catching as possible.
They said if you’re going to do Tor, make it like a Tor on a hill that everyone can see. Put it up on stilts to make it more visible, Joe said.
O’Connor said he wanted to model the house in logs — piles of flat black stone found in the wild — because they resembled sculptures.
The home is huge, covering 6,000 square feet, with five-bedroom suites, a gym, cinema room, study, utility room, open plan kitchen, and living space.
It’s also carbon negative, running on solar panels, with an air-powered heat pump and triple glazing.
he is back! The house is the first home to appear on the new season of Grand Design, hosted by Kevin McCloud
A spaceship, a luxury car and a sculpture all in one—but O’Connors say the property still offers a comfortable family home. (Pictured: Kevin McCloud opposite Hux Shard)
With three children, the couple did their best to keep the house warm, the angled windows provide a peaceful atmosphere for parents, and a playground full of endless possibilities for their children.
Joe admitted, “The house is so cozy until the kids come in and the screaming and the echoing starts, and it starts banging your head a little bit.”
The kids made the most of the 229-foot walkway that runs through the house and their dad admits that kids can move from one end of the house to the other, because it’s all on the ground floor.
A beautiful home is not without its challenges. Claire admits that keeping it clean is a job in itself, and it takes hours.
She added that it was difficult to prevent children from spreading their toys everywhere and that the couple would have to buy a very tall ladder to change light bulbs, due to their 10-meter ceiling.