5 October 2015

Stunning North Coast home using structure of 100-year-old stone forge to be featured on Grand Design


It’s been three years in the making – but now a stunning home on the North Coast is set to be featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.

Situated on one of the most picturesque sites an old stone forge has been transformed into a modern home.

Over the past three years, Kevin McCloud and the team from Grand Designs have followed the building’s progress, visiting the site multiple times.

As of this month, eventually Michael Howe and his family can now call what’s been known as the ‘Ballymagarry Project’ their home.

It was designed by the homeowner and partner in 2020 Architects in Ballymoney  Michael Howe, and is now home for him his wife Michele, and children, Rudi 3 and Anna 7 months.

Michael said: “The site on which our home is located is one of the most picturesque on the North Coast. I fell in love with the views a long time ago but as it’s an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, I knew that planning permission could be a challenge.”

The site was home to a 100-year-old stone forge that had been lying derelict for years.

It boasts panoramic sea views of the Portrush peninsula and Atlantic Ocean stretching as far as the Deongal headlands.

Michael added: “Over the years, I’ve become well used to designing homes that are sympathetic to their surroundings and it’s one of our strengths at 2020 Architects.

“I was confident that I could design our dream family home, that would be both in-keeping with its beautiful surroundings, yet be a bastion for the best of modern design.”

Michael chose only to use local suppliers for the build and to ensure the home was future proofed by building it close to passive house standards, which included the use of 300 straw bales for insulation.

By restoring the old forge building and creating a truly impressive modern extension with double height spaces and floor to ceiling windows, the Grand Designs project is now completed after a number of challenges – which included the budget increasing and changing suppliers.

“The structure is more typically Northern European yet I was determined to use local craftspeople to deliver as many elements of the build as possible”, Michael said.

“At the 11th hour, Glenfort Timber Engineering in Co. Tyrone produced five spruce ‘glulam’ arched frames that are central to the home’s design and remain exposed within the building’s interior.

“From Kells, Creative Joinery Worx also played a key role in creating the specialist joinery for the windows, floors and staircase, all of which add to the design element of our home.”

To view 2020’s Grand Design, tune into Grand Designs, 9pm on Channel 4 this Wednesday October 7 2015.

2020 Architects is situated at 37 Main Street, Ballymoney. For further information on the company and on the Grand Designs home, please log on to, find 2020 Architects on Facebook or call the Ballymoney office on 028 276 67999.

View this and more articles on the Belfast Telegraph.

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