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.