Suffolk home built in face of tragedy among Kevin McCloud’s all-time favourites

Woodbridge resident Lucie Fairweather planned the house with partner Nat McBride, who died from canc

Woodbridge resident Lucie Fairweather planned the house with partner Nat McBride, who died from cancer during the build PICTURE: GRAND DESIGNS LIVE/PA - Credit: PA

In his 20 years presenting Channel 4’s Grand Designs, it is a house in Suffolk that takes the honour of being in Kevin McCloud’s all-time four favourite properties.

Lucie Fairweather and architect Jerry Tate won an award from Suffolk Coastal District Council in 201

Lucie Fairweather and architect Jerry Tate won an award from Suffolk Coastal District Council in 2011 for Hoo House Picture: PAUL NIXON

Hoo House in Woodbridge proved not only to be an architectural masterpiece, but a story of love and dedication in the face of tragedy.

The three-bedroom house featured in series 10 of the hit show, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Lucie Fairweather and her partner Nat McBride bought the Woodbridge plot in 2006, and were granted planning permission in 2007 to build their cost-effective dream family home.

But the family dream looked in pieces when Mr McBride was diagnosed with cancer and passed away a year later - however Miss Fairweather didn't give up on their shared vision of building a house that was as aesthetically attractive as it was environmentally sustainable.

Hoo House in Woodbridge is among Grand Design's presenter Kevin McCloud's all-time favourite builds

Hoo House in Woodbridge is among Grand Design's presenter Kevin McCloud's all-time favourite builds Picture: GRAND DESIGNS LIVE/PA - Credit: PA


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Mr McCloud said: "I'm really fond of these small, inexpensive projects - they're more important as Grand Designs, than the big, show-off things people often think of. It's here that the innovation happens, when people push with small budgets to deliver great experiences.

"Lucie's was just fantastic. It was a wonderful story about redemption, and about her taking her late husband's vision and building a house for her small children. It was tinged with tragedy and sadness, but also with the tremendous friendship of Jerry Tate, a great friend of her and her husband. He not only designed the home for her, but held her hand through the whole process.

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"It was an exemplary three bedroom suburban home, but Lucie is a primary school teacher and she didn't have a lot of money. The takeaway is that it's not about buying stuff - if she can do it, anyone can."

Miss Fairweather's house is not the only local home to feature on the popular television show, with eco-friendly home "the Arc" in Boxford having also been shown to the nation in 2010.

Hoo House in Woodbridge was a favourite of Kevin McCloud of Channel 4's Grand Designs team Picture:

Hoo House in Woodbridge was a favourite of Kevin McCloud of Channel 4's Grand Designs team Picture: IAN WEST/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

But Kevin McCloud and his Channel 4 crew have been in Suffolk more recently, with a six-bedroom home in west Suffolk set to appear on the show on October 2 at 9pm.

Other favourites in his list of four favourites included a house in Peckham with a subterranean floor.

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