Mid Ulster home in the running for Grand Designs House of the Year

A breathtaking house on the shores of Lough Beg, which won the Royal Society of Ulster Architects’ House of Year and Client of the Year Awards in June 2022, is now set to be featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs House of the Year, hosted by Kevin McCloud.

The Mid Ulster contender, which is to be featured on this week’s episode, was designed by architecture firm, McGonigle McGrath, for clients Hugh and Gillian Graham and is located within the part walled demesne of Ballyscullion Park, Bellaghy.

Kieran McGonigle, Partner in McGonigle McGrath said, “Our clients bought an area of listed parkland and set about commissioning a house. The brief was clear, it called for a family home which was bright, spacious, and respectful of both the open parkland views and the historic woodland.

"Our clients did not want a conspicuous house, preferring a restrained approach. We are delighted that it has been recognised firstly through the RSUA Design Awards and now with Grand Designs House of the Year.”

House Lough Beg which will feature in Grand Designs House of the Year.

The project was a labour of love from all involved, taking 10 years in total to complete. The planning application was a long process with McGonigle McGrath having to overcome many challenges involved in building on listed parkland.

Only a small handful of craftsmen, who were overseen by the client, were used to undertake the build.

Proud owner Hugh Graham, who became invested in the process of making careful architecture, said: “We owe great gratitude to our architects for taking the time to share their vision with us.

"Their desire for perfection drove us as owners as well as our tradesmen to strive for excellence in every detail. This led to all of us feeling like we had ownership of the build of the house, which I firmly believe is what led to the success of the project.”

An interior picture of the House Lough Beg.

The home takes the form of agricultural out-buildings and for a relatively large home it nestles into the landscape. Handmade bricks in hues of grey and the zinc roof help the dwelling harmonise with the dark trees beyond.

This year's winner will be unveiled by Kevin McCloud in the finale of Grand Designs House of the Year which airs on Channel 4 on Wednesday at 7pm.

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House Lough Beg which will feature in the Grand Designs final on Wednesday.