Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Great Designs in Wood (51) - The Cob Palace of Devon

While on the subject of self-supporting roofs and unusual designs, I have to share with you all the story of this, possibly the largest and most original cob house in the world. While cob is a non-wood building material, the roof beams on this home are huge glulam timbers implemented in a roof design that you have to see to believe.

While the video is long (it is an episode from a British cable program), and it took me three days to find the time to watch the whole thing, I was smiling the whole time I watched. I can't even find words to comment on the effort...you have to watch it yourself.

Enjoy.


Update: Looks like the video was posted to YouTube illegally, and has been removed. Click here for more information on the Cob Palace of Devon.

4 comments:

Bill Keir said...

I'm not sure I’d dismiss Grand Designs as a ‘cable programme’ Its prime time TV here, (Channel 4) and has been running for about 20 years – presenter Kevin McCloud has been the office pin-up boy of many middle class / middle aged ladies, and the programmes popularity even extends to supporting a monthly glossy magazine. If I sound less than enthusiastic, its simply that the format is getting a bit ‘old’ after 2 decades, understandably the ‘TV’ people are overly concerned with ratings and the shows format has become a bit staid and predictable. In the early days this was must-see viewing, and really advanced the cause of ‘Self-Building’ here in the UK. I have no doubts that Grand Designs has had a huge beneficial influence on the quality of our housing stock. I have had the privilege of being involved with three Green Oak Timberframe buildings that were the subject of various episodes, and there is no doubt that these projects contributed hugely to the boom in Green Oak Frame building, it wasn’t just us who were doing it, to the point where Mr McCloud was rumoured to have said that if he never had another Green Oak building on his programme it would be way too soon. This didn’t stop CFUK (the Carpenters Fellowship UK a group comprising mainly of Oak frame enthusiasts and practitioners, both new build and conservationist, for whom I had the privilege of being the chairman for 4 years) inviting Kevin to give the keynote speech at one of our annual Carpenters Fellowship gatherings (known as ‘Frame’) His ‘people’ indicated that he could expect £10,000 / $20,000 as a speaking fee plus expenses, but in the event he waived the fee, and didn’t even claim his expenses.
In the satellite age – There is always a channel showing previous episodes of Grand Designs, but for most people involved in property or construction Grand Designs is still ‘Must-Watch’ Television.

Bill Keir said...

I'm not sure I’d dismiss Grand Designs as a ‘cable programme’ Its prime time TV here, (Channel 4) and has been running for about 20 years – presenter Kevin McCloud has been the office pin-up boy of many middle class / middle aged ladies, and the programmes popularity even extends to supporting a monthly glossy magazine. If I sound less than enthusiastic, its simply that the format is getting a bit ‘old’ after 2 decades, understandably the ‘TV’ people are overly concerned with ratings and the shows format has become a bit staid and predictable. In the early days this was must-see viewing, and really advanced the cause of ‘Self-Building’ here in the UK. I have no doubts that Grand Designs has had a huge beneficial influence on the quality of our housing stock. I have had the privilege of being involved with three Green Oak Timberframe buildings that were the subject of various episodes, and there is no doubt that these projects contributed hugely to the boom in Green Oak Frame building, it wasn’t just us who were doing it, to the point where Mr McCloud was rumoured to have said that if he never had another Green Oak building on his programme it would be way too soon. This didn’t stop CFUK (the Carpenters Fellowship UK a group comprising mainly of Oak frame enthusiasts and practitioners, both new build and conservationist, for whom I had the privilege of being the chairman for 4 years) inviting Kevin to give the keynote speech at one of our annual Carpenters Fellowship gatherings (known as ‘Frame’) His ‘people’ indicated that he could expect £10,000 / $20,000 as a speaking fee plus expenses, but in the event he waived the fee, and didn’t even claim his expenses.
In the satellite age – There is always a channel showing previous episodes of Grand Designs, but for most people involved in property or construction Grand Designs is still ‘Must-Watch’ Television.

Bill Keir said...

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/grand-designs/

http://www.oakwrights.co.uk/

http://www.carpentersfellowship.co.uk/

Chuck Ray said...

Thank you, Bill, for that interesting background. My knowledge of British TV doesn't expand past "Sherlock" and "Downton Abbey", although I did understand that "Teletubby" reference in the video.

Do you think these folks will get a million pounds for their current home? How is non-traditional housing affected by slowing real estate markets? More, or less, than traditional housing?