It seems that you just can’t keep a good repurposed water tower home story down.
This past July and September, I featured two decommissioned water towers that had been repurposed into private residences: the Balmoral Water Reservoir Home in Australia and Chateau d’eau in France. When I blogged about the latter project, I was somewhat shocked that two such unique homes would come to my attention in such a short span of time. And when featuring Chateau d'eau I thought, okay, this has to be it for a while. But nope, four months later, I've found yet another water tower home that deserves a bit of play.
Like the Balmoral Water Reservoir Home and Chateau d’eau, Biorama — a combination of the word panorama and Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, the Unesco park where the tower is situated — is a striking example of adaptive reuse and how a structure built for a very specific purpose can later on in life serve a much different one thanks to a whole lot of green-minded gumption.
In the case of Biorama, it took Richard Hurding and Sarah Phillips — with the help of architect Frank Meilchen — three years (the renovation itself took 8 months) and upwards of $800,000 to covert the historic, 69-foot tall water tower into a 1,500 square foot apartment spread across six levels.
It should be pointed out that Hurding and Phillips don’t exactly own their once-derelict water tower home: Since the tower is a historic landmark, the couple is on a 99-year lease and pay about $670 a year. They did, however, pay $100,000 for about three acres of land that surrounds the tower.
Also, the home doubles as a tourist attraction with the dizzying viewing platform open to the public (it’s accessible via an elevator and staircase tower that stands directly next to the water tower itself) where visitors "can experience a holistic environment focused on demonstrating the best 'cultural' aspects of the Biospharenreservat."
Head on over to The New York Times to read more about Biorama and see additional photos of the project. Anyone want to place a bet as to how long it will take before I blog about another water tower conversion?