The Water Tower

Buildings
Private
GOLD AWARD
WINNER
HIGHLY COMMENDED
STRUCTURAL AWARD WINNER

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

Saved from the scrapyard, the conversion of this tower using timber into a private home means it can remain standing proudly above the barley fields, overlooking its beloved village of Castle Acre.

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.