Preview – The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes


BBC 2’s series looking at the works of some of the world’s finest architects and engineers approach its final episode of its second series. Last week we saw a house which had be flown up via helicopter to its base in the alps in pieces to be assembled as something akin to a jigsaw puzzle, while elsewhere hosts Piers and Caroline visited a pair of monolithic structures along the banks and foothills around Lakes Maggiore and Lucerne.

In the final entry of the series,  the two hosts visit Japan – a country renowned for its blend of cutting edge innovation and traditional architectural styles and influences. In a country which was recently ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and subsequent disasters, fisherman Hiroshi shows how he and his family have adapted and innovated with their new v-shaped house after losing everything to the wreckage. Next up on the tour is Jikka House in Izukogen, which was planned to be a retirement sanctuary and local café for old friends; Nobuko and Sachiko. The tee-pee like structure is cladded in curved cedar and decorated in a very quirky manner making it seem almost fairytale-esque.

On the outskirts of the city, Piers falls in love with the tranquil beauty of “Optical Glass House;” a shrine to the calm and refreshing innocence which isn’t afforded by the hustle and bustle of city life. The final house – inspired by the tunnels and chambers of an ant’s nest – is built entirely from glass and is an homage to Japan’s coastal industries with its name “Glass House for a Diver.”


The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes – Wednesday 8:00pm on BBC2