Grand Designs Australia features Sackville North historical church

Grand Designs Australia has come to the NSW Hawkesbury to see how a young family transform an 150-year-old derelict church into a modern home.

It was love at first sight when construction manager Simon and fashion buyer Lauren stumbled upon the church - complete with its own graveyard - for sale on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in Sackville North.

Five years on and they've converted the tiny church into their home and the family's thrived in their riverside paradise.

But with the kids growing up and space at a premium, they were desperate to expand.

They planned to build a super contemporary, glass and copper clad addition to add panoramic views of the river and all the mod cons they dreamed off.

The bold plan was one that risked desecrating the quaint little church and destroying the simple beauty they fell in love with in the first place.


Back with a new season, host and multi award-winning architect Peter Maddison and Grand Designs Australia are following eight new homeowners from all around Australia, all of whom are driven visionaries with dreams to change their lives and Australia's architectural landscape forever.

The series follows the remarkable journeys of ambitious and resilient architectural trailblazers who have pushed their finances and families to the limit in their quest to create remarkable one-off homes.

The backdrops are as diverse as they are stunning, as Peter traverses the country, meeting and supporting the homeowners as they embark on what turns out to be rollercoaster ride of passion, creativity, and endurance.

"This series is about patience, tenacity and it's about tragedy... Romeo and Juliet have nothing on this season," said Peter. "Ten years on and I continue to be amazed by these homeowners' imagination, determination and bravery.

"Being an architect is in my DNA and I find that there will never be an end to invention.

"The most important thing we put in our lives is our home, and this series is another example of the importance of the home and the ingenuity, inner strength and the conviction in design which drives them."

Extreme design is a common theme of the season and it is no different with Simon and Lauren's decision to renovate a sandstone church with a radical copper box extension on the Hawkesbury River.

The house featured as part of the Grand Design series airing on Foxtel's LifeStyle channel.

This story See inside the converted 150-year-old church that delights on Grand Designs first appeared on Hawkesbury Gazette.