Sussex – Episode 4

We are a nation obsessed with property, but many of us are stuck with houses which we feel embarrassed to call home. Sky high prices mean that the drabbest, most outdated property on the street is often all we can afford. But rather than waste time dreaming of the perfect home, the solution could be right under your nose.

In this new Channel 4 series, George Clarke shows that even the ugliest house can be transformed into a home to be proud of.  He has teamed up the owners of some of Britain’s most unloved houses with some of the UK’s leading architects.

From a tired 1950s bungalow to a family house butchered by an 80’s extension, each architect will use cutting edge design to breathe fresh life into some our ugliest ducklings and, with tight budgets, prove that great design doesn’t have to cost the earth.

This fourth episode meets Tammy and Stuart and their outdated bungalow. When they had their son, Teddy, in 2014, they made a life-changing decision to leave the Brighton seaside and move to the tranquillity of the country.  But the only place they could afford in a pretty village was a bungalow that set them back £285,000.

They loved the area but the problem was whatever charm their new home might have had had been wiped out over the years by a series of ill-conceived extensions and cosmetic updates which left the main living rooms completely starved of light. However, the property boasted one redeeming feature a large, leafy back garden, albeit accessed via an out-dated, leaking conservatory.

Tammy and Stuart are desperate to create a family home but with a budget of just £50,000, their options were severely limited.

Will Alsop is arguably one of the country’s most renowned architects.  He lists his core values as ‘innovation, expression and originality, with an emphasis on enjoyment’. Famed for his unconventional, outlandish designs, Will prides himself on ‘challenging architectural norms’ wherever possible, winning the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize for his transformation of Peckham Library in south London.

To prove that even the most ugly houses can be transformed on a tight budget, Will designs a dramatic barrel-vaulted roofed extension to the rear of Tammy and Stuart’s bungalow complete with specially constructed exposed curved beams, a shiny aluminium roof and four porthole windows.

It’s an audacious, unique design that is very different to the surrounding properties. Which, as the radical extension begins to take shape, becomes a real concern for Tammy and Stuart.  In such a sleepy part of the West Sussex, what will the neighbours think of such magical design and will it work with their original house?

Huge thanks to the following companies who made this project possible :

Architect Will Alsop / aLL Design /

Main contractor / Gates and Morris /

Peckham Library Inspirational Visit /

Kalzip Roof / Fifth Elevation /

Kalzip Roof / Kalzip /

Fitted Glulam Beams / Ecoism Manufacturing LTD /

Firebug Stove / Dowling Stove Designs /

Kalzip Roof Contractors / Tigwelders /

Glazing Suppliers / Absolute Glazing /

Glulam Roof / Buckland Timber /

Planning Advice for Roof / Planning Resolution /

Plants / South Downs Nurseries /