PHOTO: CRAIG RAY/ORIGIN CREATIVE – Lawrie is in his element, surrounded by artworks.

Grand Designs NZ favourite from the first series, Scott Lawrie, has solved the problem of not having enough room for his art – he has bought the renowned Vivian Gallery in Matakana, and the 1.2ha of rolling parkland and lake that comes with it.

Scotsman Lawrie put his much-loved “stealth house” in Pakiri on the market last summer, because he ran out of room to display his art. After it failed to sell, he did a bit of lateral thinking and turned his attention to The Vivian, which was built around five years ago and is already something of an institution in the village.