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