A Low Budget Grand Design – in a former Herefordshire Quarry

Low budget Grand Design – in former Herefordshire Quarry


This contemporary low budget grand design in a Herefordshire Quarry, for Steph and Alex, is a project carried on whilst working at rra, and is the vision of architect Garry Thomas.

Garry managed to gain planning permission for this low budget grand design in a former Herefordshire quarry, and in an open-countryside location. This project is Garry’s second grand design house to feature on Channel Four’s grand designs programme.

The design responds to a tight budget that included ‘free’ ground-works provided by Steph’s father, and ‘free’ labour provided by Steph’s extended family. However, the project all started to unravel when the ‘free’ labour and the ‘free’ support to be provided by Steph’s father vanished from the project: and then Alex lost his job!

All the usual grand designs drama ensues.

Initially Steph’s lifelong friend, an architect from London, felt unable to gain planning permission on a rural Herefordshire site, however as the programme reveals, felt able to step-in to provide Steph with an alternative proposal after Garry had unlocked planning permission on the site.

Whilst Garry’s original design excited Channel 4 enough for them to want to film the build, it’s disappointing that his vision was not built: particularly as what was built leaves the viewer wanting more in an open-countryside location.

Thomas Studio has produced visuals and views of what the original design would have looked like, had Steph and Alex had the confidence and resolve to build it. See for your self in the gallery opposite.

Garry’s design uses an earth-sheltered concrete box, at ground level; and, a cantilevered cross laminated timber box, at first floor level. The bulk of the mass is hidden by the quarry, making the house seem smaller than it is. An outdoor terrace would have allowed Steph and Alex to enjoy the great outdoors with the comfort of an outside fire place.

Architect Garry Thomas, who has had two projects featured on grand dDesigns, can be contacted to design bespoke ‘cripsy-edged’ houses in ‘mouth-watering’ locations.

If you are planning your own grand design why not BOOK A FREE CALL-BACK BELOW with Architect Garry Thomas, who would be happy to take your questions.


Low budget Grand Designs Interior 03

Low budget Grand Designs Interior 02

Low budget Grand Designs Interior 01

Low budget Grand Designs for Steph and Alex

Low budget Grand Designs for Steph and Alex 02

Low budget Grand Designs for Steph and Alex 01