Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green building.
All along the water tower: Chateau d'eau
Rising nearly 100 feet from the flat Belgian countryside, Chateau d'eau, a historic water tower-turned-home, is an intriguing work of adaptive reuse. Here's guessing the owners have buns of steel ...
Wed, Sep 08, 2010 at 08:50 AM
Images: Jasmine Van Hevel, Mauro Brigham, Olivier Papegnies via ArchDaily
Back in July, I featured Riddel Architecture’s Balmoral Water Reservoir Home
figuring it would be at least a good six months before I blogged about another decommissioned water tower that's been repurposed into a private residence. Well, I was wrong.
In the Belgian town of Steenokkerzeel, a 30-meter-tall (nearly 100 feet!) water tower that’s been unused since the early 1990s has been carefully renovated to serve a new purpose: a single-family home with a whole lot of stairs.
The water tower home, dubbed Chateau d’eau
, doesn’t appear to be quite as historic as the 1940s-era concrete Balmoral Water Reservoir Home but, in fact, it most likely predates it having been built sometime between 1938 and 1941. And
it's about 60 feet taller than the Balmoral Reservoir Home. Overseen by Bham Design Studio
, the 2007 renovation/conversion of the building into a livable space (there's also a conference area rented out to "high profile companies that seek a unique place to meet top clients near by the airport") was a painstaking process.
The preservation of existing concrete elements such as the main water conduct, concrete ceilings, concrete stairs and the 250.000 liters concrete water basin were essential to preserve the strong identity of the building.
Every visible concrete element inside was painted in dark grey in order to mark the old from the new. This choice works in both ways since it makes the contrast created makes both bright and dark stand out.
Read more about the specifics of this dizzying domicile with sleek, modern interiors over at ArchDaily
where there’s also a bunch more photographs. Given the flat landscape surrounding the structure and Steenokkerzeel’s realllly
close location to the Brussels airport, the home appears to be more Chateau d’air traffic
(it was actually used as a watchtower during WWII) than anything.
Personally, this would put me a bit on edge. I’m also not sure how the resident cat that appears in many of the images of the home deals with all that plane noise (it seems spooked by something in the below photo). Still, Chateau d'eau is a beautiful example of adaptive reuse and provides for a killer cardio workout for the folks living in it.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.