Architect: Tonkin Liu
Structural Engineer: Rodrigues Associates
Services Engineer: Integration
Main Contractor: MNB Services
Service Provided Steelworks: GLW Engineering & Construction Ltd
Wood Supplier: Binderholz UK Ltd
Species: Spruce (Austria) – PEFC
Location: Castle Acre
Photography credits: © Dennis Pedersen, Taran Wilkhu, Mike Tonkin, Tonkin Liu
What once provided water to the village has lain in ruin since after the war. Bidding against scrap metal dealers the clients bought the water tower in an auction. Now it has been reinvented into a delightful house of inventiveness and joyful peculiarity with the addition of timber rooms and a timber cantilevered staircase rising through the tower into the tank.
This castle-like cantilevered Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) stair tower acts as a compression spiral, similar to what is found in a seashell. This delivers the steel water tank structure’s wind loads down to the foundations. The combined strength of this timber spiral and the shear timber walls form a rigid structure that lends stability to the existing steel frame structure.
Lending panoramic views of the landscape, the Water Tower stands as a living landmark which resonates in the personal history of the individuals of the village who supported its reuse.