A £2.5million house that was inspired by rocks in the Devon countryside is the subject of Wednesday’s Grand Designs.
Hux Shard, located near Exeter, is the brainchild of property developer and supercar investor Joe, 35, and his wife Claire, who started building the futuristic home in 2017, The Times reports.
The couple, who have three children, gave free reign to their architect Mick O’Connor of Squirrel Design – with Joe’s only requirement being that the house was reminiscent of a slick sports car.
The black home, covered in £ 500,000 worth of zinc cladding, was made using 300 timber beams and has 46 sheets of bespoke glass, costing £200,000. The pair admit though that delivery drivers have often struggled to find the front door of the unusual abode.
The story of how Joe and Claire created the luxury home features in this week’s epsiode of the design show on Channel 4.
Hux Shard, near Exeter, is the futuristic home of property developer Joe O’Connor, 35, and his wife Claire. The ambitious zinc-clad five-bed home is the subject of Grand Design’s new series debut on Wednesday on Channel 4 (The couple pictured with presenter Kevin McCloud, right)
The house is inspired by tors, piles of stones found in the wild, that resemble sculptures. It has 10-metre-high ceilings and a 229ft long corridor that runs from one end of the home to the other
Joe reveals he planned to stick to a budget of £835,000 and build the property in under seven months, but in true Grand Designs fashion, he went over both his budget and his timeline.
Joe admitted if he had known he would be building his super home during Brexit and a pandemic, he wouldn’t have gone through with starting the project.
However, he says he’s still glad to have persevered with the project, even if some contractors have called the house ‘ludicrous,’ and said they wouldn’t like to live there.
He explains: ‘I wanted to build a house that not anyone can do. As with the supercars, it’s not an ego thing.
‘I like pushing the parameters and wanted to make something we get a buzz from. I knew it would be a game-changer,’ he said.
The house is ultra-modern and carbon negative, powered via sun and air. Pictured: a shower room in the home
The house is indeed far removed from many other homes in the region but the property developer says planning permission officials 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 significance’. They even told him to make it as eye-catching as possible.
‘They said if you are going to do a tor, make it like a tor on a hill that everyone can see. Raise it on stilts to make it even more visible,’ Joe said.
O’Connor said he wanted to model the house after tors – piles of flat black stone found in the wild – because they resemble sculptures.
The house is gigantic, covering 6,000 sq ft, with five bedroom suites, a gym, cinema room, study, utility room, open plan kitchen and living-space.
It is also carbon negative, running on solar panels, with an air-powered heat pump and triple glazing.
He’s back! The house is the first 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 the O’Connors say the property still makes for a relaxing family home. (Pictured: Kevin McCloud in front of Hux Shard)
With three children in tow, the couple have done their best to keep the home cosy, and its angular windows provide a serene setting for the parents, and a playground full of endless possibilities for their kids.
‘The house is very relaxing until the kids come in and the screaming and the echo starts, and it starts to hammer your head a little bit,’ Joe admitted.
The kids have made the most of the house’s 229ft long corridor which runs through the house and their father admits the children could cycle from one end of the house to the other, because it is all on ground level.
The beautiful home is not without its challenges. Claire admits keeping it clean is a work in itself, which takes her hours.
She added it was hard to keep the children from spreading their toys everywhere and that the couple will have to buy a very tall ladder to change light bulbs, due to their 10 metre-high roof.