This painstaking and challenging transformation converted a Victorian water tower, originally built in the 1890s by Thomas W. Aldwinckle to supply water to the now-demolished ‘Brook Fever hospital,’ into a remarkable family home. The tower, standing at eight storeys and 25 meters tall, was adorned with plain brickwork and bands of terracotta tiles, featuring arrow-slit windows. It was crowned with a lead-lined, cast-iron tank.
To make it habitable, the tank was replaced with a glass viewing deck that followed the same profile. Additionally, a two-storey pavilion, designed for living purposes, was added at the base of the tower. The pavilion includes an entrance hall, kitchen, and living/dining space on the ground floor, as well as two en-suite bedrooms and a utility room on the floor above. A covered bridge spans the “moat” and connects the tower to the accommodation, which consists of only one room per floor. Furthermore, a hydraulic lift was installed alongside the tower’s staircase, leading to a tower-top observatory level.
During restoration, great care was taken to preserve the tower’s original charm. The brickwork was sandblasted and chemically cleaned, while damaged terracotta mouldings were meticulously rebuilt to match and seamlessly integrated.
In contrast, the new pavilion boasts extensive metal-framed glazing. The ground floor matches the tower’s plinth with brick, while the first floor is clad in stainless steel.
The project gained recognition and featured in numerous TV shows and publications, including The Architects Journal, Building Design, Evening Standard, Time Out, and The Times.