blee halligan breathes new life into ‘ugly house’ in south wales
all images courtesy of blee halligan architects / channel 4




london-based practice blee halligan architects have recently given a dilapidated and unloved house in south wales a new lease of life. the residential project ‘ugly house to lovely house’ was presented on the first episode on the british TV program on channel 4. the program highlights the detailed before-and-after process of select architectural projects that are backed with a small budget, proving that with guidance and expertise, any ‘ugly duckling’ house can be transformed into a pleasant living environment.

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02the renovation saw a shard-like extension being added and connected to the main residence




the two-storey property dates back to the 1970’s; prior to its renovation, time has triggered the façade to become worn-out and discolored. at the same time, the inefficient spatial layout lacked accessibility, flow and light.


commissioned by a young couple, blee halligan’s response focuses on fostering a harmonious balance between volume and light. the result sees the interiors being efficiently re-organized, redecorated, while natural light being introduced and an angular timber-clad extension connected to the kitchen.

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02the shard-like extension is a dynamic contrast to the more boxed volumes of the dwelling




the existing dwelling itself has been repainted with the upper half clad in a light timber paneling. following this updated façade, a new shard-like extension subtly extends from the structure – continues with the materiality – and inside, forms a dining room area which seamlessly opens up to the garden and lit by its south facing orientation. furthermore, large picture windows frame the previously unappreciated landscape, while the dynamic pitched form becomes a welcomed contrast to the conventional boxed volume of the existing space.

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02the extension has re-established a connection to the back garden and hosts a spacious dining room area




‘our primary aims were to set this house comfortably into its beautiful surroundings by re-cladding the house in larch that would weather down, to create a proper connection with the garden and to build a really exciting extension with volume, to elevate a boring box of a house into a something light filled and contemporary, that reflected this young couples love of modern design.’ – greg blee, founding architect blee halligan

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02the kitchen, dining and garden seamlessly links to each other




the overhaul has provided a background for the introduction of new materials throughout the interiors. the final design is now filled with light and more spacious, creating an uplifting internal dwelling for the young family that will inherently adapt to their day-to-day lifestyle.

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02the newly decorated interiors are inviting and light-filled

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02a large window invites light into the scandinavian-influnced living room

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-04box windows interrupting the extension’s timber façade provide glimpses of the garden and sky

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02the transformed façade

blee-halligan-architects-ugly-house-to-lovely-house-wales-uk-designboom-02the ‘ugly house’ in south wales before its transformation