Back in 2011, blogger Hannes Coudenys started to take notice of some of the strange, quirky, and downright ugly architecture in the country of Belgium. He decided to start taking pictures of houses so that he could share the peculiarities of Belgian architecture with the rest of the world. That’s how his Ugly Belgian Houses blog was born.
These houses are truly outrageous. Keep reading to be blown away by bricks and mortar. Hannes’ blog became so successful that Hannes’ published a coffee table book containing all of his favorite photos from the blog in 2015.
A Swiss Cheese Spectacle
Hey, I thought we were in Belgium, not Sweden. This house looks like a fresh slice of swiss cheese. This would be the perfect house design for a mouse house, but this is not a house for mice. It’s a house for people. Or at least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe.
What are those tiny circular windows even for? The smallest one looks about the same size as the lamp just below it.
The Old Meets The New
This building can’t decide if it wants to be in the past or in the future. The bottom of it looks like something out of the Victorian era, but the top of it looks like a cruise ship from 2006. The people who live in this house must wear ornate hoop skirts on the bottom and slogan tees on top.
This is sort of like a mullet house, except instead of having a party in the back, it has an apartment on top.
Where’s The Rest Of The House?
So, either the rest of this house is underground, or these people are just living in two adjoining roofs. Imagine living in just a roof. It’s kind of like living in a tent, only the tent is permanent and you have to keep sleeping in it when you’re finished camping.
This design kind of looks like two pyramids standing side by side. It’s a little bit of Egypt all the way over in Belgium.
Real Houses Have Curves
This unique building is sandwiched in between two very normal looking buildings. Clearly, this building is a middle child. He always wants to stand out from the crowd and be unique, but when it comes down to it, he’s still a middle child and he always will be (sorry middle children).
What are all of those little holes about on the beige part of the concrete? That’s something that would definitely be unnerving for people with trypophobia.
The Checkerboard Effect
Is this even a house? This building has so many windows that it’s hard to imagine that anybody lives here. I mean, there’s no privacy at all. I think those are windows. They could just be tinted squares of some opaque material.
This building looks more like a checkerboard than a house. Whoever lives here must really love checkers. Maybe they’re a chess or checkers champion. Maybe both. That red house on the left looks a bit more inviting.
Total Eclipse Of The House
Do you guys see a house here? If there is a house in this photo, it seems to be totally eclipsed by a large, dark, blank wall. This is more like a monolith than it is like a house. I wonder if it’s also very stark and plain on the inside or if the inside is the total opposite of the outside.
What if the inside is full of bright colors, intricate patterns, and ornate designs? I guess we’ll never find out.
Back It Again With Those All Roof Houses
Do you think this is one house or three separate apartments all stacked on top of each other? When the people who live here need to get their roof replaced, they have to replace most of their house.
That top floor doesn’t look very roomy. I don’t think an adult human could even stand up on that floor without hitting their head on the sloped ceiling. It’s a cool concept but I don’t know if it’s very practical.
The Geometry Of This House Is Confusing
The black part of this house looks like it’s going to roll right over onto the driveway. It actually looks like it’s on an axis and it’s about to spin away. Color-wise, this house isn’t that exciting, but a brightly colored exterior would just take away from the simplicity of this design.
This house looks like something Posh Spice would wear. Watch out, house, Victoria Beckham is coming for your look. Who do you think wore it best?
This House Is The Black Sheep Of The Family
This house just doesn’t fit in— literally. I mean, it probably could fit in if it just tried a little harder and put itself on a different angle, but I don’t think this house really wants to fit in. The people who live in this house are probably totally unique with their own, off the beaten path sense of style.
I guess some Belgians just want to stand apart from the crowd. Why be the same when you can be different?
Somebody Really Likes The Number Nine
Ok, I’m kind of into all of these number nines. Nobody’s ever going to get confused about the address of this house. It’s a practical choice as well as a design choice. I mean, I guess they could have installed one giant number nine; that would be pretty hard to miss too.
I like all of the little nines, though. Each one has its own character and its own charm. Which number nine on this house is your favorite?
Where Did The Roof Go?
So we already saw two houses that were all roof and now we’re looking at a house that’s missing a roof altogether? What is happening in this country? I’ll tell you what’s happening. Those other houses were supposed to go on top of this house. That’s the only logical explantation.
All of the houses next to it have roofs. This has to be some kind of mistake. The colors of these buildings are kind of cool though…
Living In This House Is Like Living Under A Bridge
You know who famously lives under a bridge? Every troll in every fairytale. Are you telling me that the people who live in this house are trolls? Because that would be as good of an explanation for this monstrosity as anything else.
Some of the houses on this list are less ugly than they are quirky and fun. This house is just plain ugly. To each their own, I guess. You can’t stop trolls from liking what they like.
A Thin Slice Of Heaven
All of that dirt around this house better be usable farmland, or else what is it doing there? It looks like it’s probably farmland. There are little lines in it that suggest that it’s been tilled recently. This is probably the farmer’s house.
It must be nice for him to live so close to his work. Do we like how perfectly rectangular the yard it? You tell me. In a way, it’s kind of oddly satisfying.
Does That Mailbox Look Like Anything To You?
Does that mailbox look a little bit suspicious to anybody else? I think it should probably be called a male-box, if you know what I mean. Seriously, who came up with that design? The rest of the house looks pretty normal, though. There’s a normal door and a normal garage and a normal roof.
Those bushes are a little bit strange, but at least they don’t look inappropriate. Nobody was ever offended by a few geometric bushes.
Whatever Happened To Rectangular Windows?
You know the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, rectangular windows are perfectly fine the way they are. Why mess with a good thing and bring in these circular and semi-circular windows?
Ok, so the big circular window kind of makes the house look like a place Bilbo Baggins would live. It has a sort of Lord of the Rings charm. Just think about how many hobbits could fit into a house this big.
This House Looks Like It’s Plotting Something
This house looks like it’s plotting a detailed and intricate revenge scheme. Somebody wronged this house in a serious way, and now he’s out for blood. Do you think somebody purposefully arranged the windows like that on the roof so it would look like a face, or was it just a happy coincidence?
If any house on this list was going to come to life, it would be this one. It’s already set up for animation.
A Worried Expression
If that other house was plotting revenge, this is the house that’s worried about a potential revenge plot. It looks like it just saw something horrifying. Maybe he saw all of the other ugly houses on this list and now he’s scared for his species.
One advantage of round windows is that they look like eyes, I guess. The windows on top of the eyes kind of look like eyebrows. I bet a very worried person lives in this house.
Is This A House Or A Castle?
Well, this house isn’t necessarily ugly, but it is very extra. The people who live here must have a lot of money. The red and black color scheme makes it seem like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland lives here.
I hope whoever lives here is way less evil than the Queen of Hearts— for everybody’s sake. We don’t need a tyrannical playing card running loose in Belgium. Let’s let that character stay fictional.
Wedged Between A Lot Of Hard Places
I can’t tell if this little house is wedged between a whole bunch of tall grey buildings, or if it’s just a brown brick part of those tall grey buildings. Either way, it’s a little slice of classic architecture among a whole bunch of modern buildings.
In a small way, this building pays homage to the way that things used to be. We don’t need to hold on to everything about the past, but some old architecture is nice to look at.
Where Did The Other Bit Go?
I’m pretty sure that this is just two-thirds of a house. Where did the rest of the house go? Did somebody just come and drag it away, or was the house designed to look this way? It kind of looks like half of the house was just erased in photoshop.
I hope whole people live here and not just halves of people. What if every appliance in the house is also split in half? Now that would be something to see.
A House On The Rise
This house looks like it’s about to get up and walk away. It kind of looks like two feet ready to start a new adventure. I wonder if the floor of that raised building is totally slanted, or if there’s some sort of mechanism in the building that makes the floor level.
I imagine all of the furniture in the tilted house would just slide all the way to one end. Everything must be bolted down super tight.
A Blank Slate
This house is the plainest looking building on this list (and maybe in the world). I bet graffiti artist can’t wait to get their hands on this thing. This house doesn’t even have any windows to interrupt the plain walls. It has skylights to let some natural light in, but that’s about it.
At least some of the other buildings on this list had interesting design elements. This one is just super boring. Maybe there’s some sort of beauty in the simplicity.
I Guess Belgium Has A Thing For Houses Cut In Half
This house looks like it’s half of a regular house. There have been a lot of half-houses on this list. I guess Belgium has a thing for buildings cut in half. I’m not sure what the appeal is. A whole house is also nice.
Maybe it’s some kind of artistic statement. A comment on the unfinished nature of our lives, perhaps. There’s almost more garage space in this building than there is living space.
A New Take On That Old Split House Trick
This house isn’t just split in half— it’s split in half and it’s flipped so it’s facing its mirror image. At least this house has its other half nearby. Some of the other half houses on this list were just stranded in a field all by themselves.
Yeah, it’s a unique design, but how practical is it really? Maybe these houses were built for a set of identical twins. Maybe they were built for conjoined twins who were separated at birth…
A Half-Finished House
This is a new take on the half-house concept. Half of this house is painted and half of the house is totally blank. I don’t even know where you would find roof tiles that are this white. It kind of looks like the house hasn’t finished loading yet.
Do you think this house is actually unfinished, or is it just painted to look unfinished for the aesthetic effect? Which side of this house do you like better?
A House Straight Out Of A Fairytale
Now this is a quirky house I can get behind. Look at those stunning blue shutters, the angles in the roof, the whimsical design… This is what I’m talking about, Belgium! This house looks like something straight out of a dream or a fairy tale.
I bet Hansel and Gretel moved here after they finished eating that house made entirely out of candy. That is how that story ends, right? They live happily ever after?
A Rocky Abode
This house looks like the edge of a mountain or the side of a rocky cliff. It looks like a place Fred Flintstone would live if he found himself in Belgium in the 21st century. This design is unique and artistic and full of character.
I’m not really sure how practical it is, but it really is something to see. The people who live in this house must be earth signs (if you believe in that sort of thing).
A House Cat
Get it? A house cat? Because it’s a house that looks like a cat, but also, house cats? Alright, enough with the dad jokes. I don’t think this house was purposely built to resemble a cat, but I can’t say that I’m mad at it.
It’s definitely way cuter than all of those half houses. In fact, it’s probably cuter than all of the houses on this list, except maybe that angular one with the blue windows and doors.
That’s Too Many Windows For One House
This house has a crazy amount of windows, and all of the windows are positioned so awkwardly. I guess that’s for some kind of artistic effect, but all I can think about is how would you even get blinds that would fit into all of those windows? I guess they would all have to be custom made.
This house kind of looks like an unfinished Rubik’s cube, which is nice if you’re into puzzles, I guess.