Book I Love: Ugly Belgian Houses by Hannes Coudenys


Having spent a year in the Netherlands and made plenty of day trips to Belgium, I know how bizarre the architecture in these places can be. From strange pitched bungalows to odd concrete cubes, it’s safe to say not everything looks like the front of a chocolate box. Cue my new favourite publication Ugly Belgian Houses.

A new hardback photobook by Hannes Coudenys, the title is somewhat of a hit. Probably because, like all things that become incredibly popular within a small internet community, what was once merely a tongue-in-cheek Tumblr feed soon won the adoration of many, and became the sort of book most wish they had lying around to flick through and chuckle oddly to themselves.

The original Tumblr Ugly Belgian Houses lends the book its brilliant captions and catchphrases. With contributions by Peter Swinnen, David Helbich (Belgian Solutions), Charles Holland (Fat Architecture) and Bent Van Looy, all 176 pages are a disgusting treat for the eyes.

Hannes’ shop also touts prints, if perhaps a particular building has caught your eye to the extent that you fancy hanging it in your home or studio. I love the minimalist design and its pastel cover, featuring a particularly ugly home. In English and in Dutch, I think this may be the perfect gift for fans of strange architecture and mean jokes. It’s all in good fun, after all.

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Words: Emily Beeson | @boogiemargaret