One of the most impressive green homes that I’ve laid eyes on in recent months has been the Hill End Ecohome, a self-sufficient residence in Brisbane, Australia, that was built almost entirely from recycled materials salvaged from an old home on the existing lot. After becoming familiar with this masterwork of deconstruction I wondered what other eco-beauties the firm behind the project, Riddel Architecture, was responsible for. Just recently, Inhabitat shared another Riddel Architecture project that’s no less impressive: the Balmoral Water Reservoir home.
A unique work of adaptive reuse, the Balmoral Water Reservoir home is located in the residential enclave of Balmoral outside of Brisbane. Here’s what Riddel Architecture says about the process of turning an unused 1940s-era concrete water tower into a private home:
With our assistance, our client successfully tendered for this redundant structure being sold by the Brisbane City Council. It occupied a prominent hilltop on the south side and was larger than most houses, being almost 12m high and having a 22m internal diameter. The concrete walls were heavily reinforced and almost 1m thick at the base. As demolition and removal costs were prohibitive, the project suited an adaptive reuse approach. A ring of habitable rooms was suspended inside the structure towards its top and openings were cut into the concrete walls for windows and internal balconies, for car access and for the front door. The new structure added was steel framed and clad in galvanised corrugated steel.
The plan of the rooms was of a doughnut with an opening in the centre which contained a single concrete column which supported the original tank roof. The project has resulted in a delightful suite of rooms overlooking a covered internal courtyard space and a north facing deck between the kitchen and bedrooms.