The BEST episodes of Grand Designs New Zealand

Every episode of Grand Designs New Zealand ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Grand Designs New Zealand!

Architect Tom Webster meets people all over Aotearoa who are challenging architecture, geography, sustainability, technology, and even standard building practices to create innovative, cutting edge homes.

Last Updated: 9/27/2023Network: TVNZ 1Status: Continuing
12 votes

#1 - Castello

Season 7 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/29/2022

In North Canterbury Phil Metaxas takes on the ambitious task of completing another man's dream - that of a post-modernist castle.

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Passive House
14 votes

#2 - Passive House

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/22/2022

In Featherston, Swedish architect Josefine Watterson tackles the challenge of creating a Passive House for her young family in pursuit of both a more sustainable lifestyle.

Watch Now:Amazon
Queenstown: Modern Day Castle
61 votes

#3 - Queenstown: Modern Day Castle

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/30/2016

Christchurch earthquake refugees Andy Macbeth and Jo Denton build a modern-day fortress against the elements in alpine Queenstown.

Suspended Glass House
41 votes

#4 - Suspended Glass House

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/18/2019

A site with a river running through it would put most people off. But not Harlem and Nicola who attempt to build a glass-house on a bridge over the water.

45° House
68 votes

#5 - 45° House

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/1/2015

Chris meets architect Nic Ballara, who's planning to build a house on a steep 45-degree slope overlooking Wellington. Nic Ballara clearly has a head for heights as he starts to build a family home for him and his wife Callie and their 12-year-old daughter. Nic's site in the earthquake prone city of Wellington is so steep that it looks virtually impossible to build on, however Nic is convinced he has a solution and is determined to build his first home there. A logistical nightmare lies ahead as this Grand Design looks to be an uphill battle throughout.

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Grand Tearooms Penthouse
29 votes

#6 - Grand Tearooms Penthouse

Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/14/2020

Auckland couple Bridget and Steve Varney take on the challenge of converting Farmers' grand tea rooms built in 1930 into a New York style loft.

South Brighton: Earthquake Rebuild
60 votes

#7 - South Brighton: Earthquake Rebuild

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/13/2016

A terminally ill Christchurch man and his family are determined to stay in South Brighton despite on-going earthquakes, and the fact their house is being built on a sand dune.

Point Chevalier: The Concreteologist
103 votes

#8 - Point Chevalier: The Concreteologist

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/25/2016

Ross plans to create a towering home for his family on the cliffs of Point Chevalier. But after living on site for nearly 10 years, his family is now wondering if he'll ever get their home finished.

New Plymouth: Hemp Home
93 votes

#9 - New Plymouth: Hemp Home

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/2/2016

New Plymouth couple Greg and Gayle build one of the first hemp homes in NZ, and spend thousands shielding themselves against what they believe are the ill effects of electromagnetic radiation.

Kapiti Coast: Stilt House
63 votes

#10 - Kapiti Coast: Stilt House

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/16/2016

Predicted sea level rises are not stopping architect Guy Marriage and his extended family from building a DIY Bach, only metres from the high tide mark on Wellington's Kapiti Coast.

Burnt Timber Pavilion
38 votes

#11 - Burnt Timber Pavilion

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/11/2019

Shane and Tina Nicholls design a unique family home using Japanese burnt timber and Scandinavian brick, a special memorial garden, views over the gulf, a wine cellar, a pool, and much more – it’s a truly international affair.

American Barns
63 votes

#12 - American Barns

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/22/2015

The series finale sees Marty import two old American barns from New York valley, which are raised by heritage builders and merged with a design for a modern home. Timber merchant Marty Verry and his Venezuelan wife Morella have imported two historic New York barn frames that could be considered the oldest buildings in New Zealand. With plans to assemble the barn on the couples' rural site on the outskirts of Auckland, they intend them to become part of a modernist mansion acting as a tribute to the different timber Marty loves. But will the new homes honour the history they are built on or is this Grand Design set to take on a life of its own?

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Grand Designs Revisited
21 votes

#13 - Grand Designs Revisited

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired 10/23/2019

Chris Moller takes a tour of three exceptional Grand Designs homes from the last four seasons to see how they've developed and to ask the big question - was it all worth it?

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Lake House
11 votes

#14 - Lake House

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/1/2022

On the shores of Lake Tarawera, kiwi fruit farmers Stew and Gill Moss are building a final family home in time for Gill's 60th birthday party.

Watch Now:Amazon
Container House
9 votes

#15 - Container House

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/15/2022

Tony Hodge discovers that building with the humble container is not as easy as he thought it would be on his unforgiving, vertiginous, bush clad site on Waiheke Island.

Watch Now:Amazon
Northland: Rusty House
73 votes

#16 - Northland: Rusty House

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/9/2016

Steve Wilson and Wendy Grell move from Auckland to the Northland beachside where they plan to build an architectural marvel of corten steel in an unassuming seaside community.

Ponsonby: French House
94 votes

#17 - Ponsonby: French House

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/23/2016

Philippe and Sarah Lods hope to create a modernist home based on Parisian apartments on a rare empty site in the heart of Auckland's historic Ponsonby.

Straw Bale House
62 votes

#18 - Straw Bale House

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/15/2015

After years of living apart with their separate children, Mike and Catherine are finally building an extraordinary straw bale together on top of a rocky outcrop in central Otego. Between them, Mike and Cathy have seven children from their previous marriages. With the last child finally moved out of home, the couple are going to build a Grand Design in which they will live alone together for the first time. They will be calling on Catherine's skills as one of the few female joiners in the country and Mike's talents as an inventor to build a unique straw bale and hemp house on an exposed rocky outcrop near Wanaka.

Christchurch: Britten Stables
39 votes

#19 - Christchurch: Britten Stables

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/3/2018

The daughter of world famous motorbike inventor, John Britten, takes on the multi-million dollar task of restoring the eclectic earthquake damaged family home.

Slipper Island: Island Hideaway
35 votes

#20 - Slipper Island: Island Hideaway

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/3/2017

Sky wants to build a remote, off-grid island sanctuary, where he and his family can escape the demands of mainland life.

Piha Clifftop Retreat
27 votes

#21 - Piha Clifftop Retreat

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/21/2020

Joseph and Susannah battle storms and complex topography as they attempt to build a coastal paradise on a steep site with stunning view of Piha.

Schist Vineyard
22 votes

#22 - Schist Vineyard

Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/12/2020

Roland and Lucienne Vanderwal join forces with their son Michiel to build a home out of local schist, in the middle of their central Otago vineyard.

Ultramodern Rooftop Home
22 votes

#23 - Ultramodern Rooftop Home

Season 6 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/2/2020

Heritage building enthusiasts Ted and Ita Daniels create an ultra-modern rooftop apartment on top of one of the city's most beautiful renovations.

Beach Escape
37 votes

#24 - Beach Escape

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/2/2019

David and Tracey share a passion for architecture, but with diverging taste. Their joint home in Waipu Cove results in a clash of wills and an epic battle over the budget and infinity pool.

Watch Now:Amazon
Wanaka Wedge
40 votes

#25 - Wanaka Wedge

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/25/2019

Musicians Justine Cormack and Marc Taddei swap their Auckland home for the mountains of Central Otago. They risk all by adapting an American design for the Southern Hemisphere.

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