Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

• May 26, 2011

Interior architect Mauro Brigham has completed reconversion of a water tower into a single family house in Belgium.

The history

In a small terrain of 16m width by 20m long in the middle of a flat Belgian landscape, raises a 30m high water tower built between 1938 and 1941 for and by the village of Steenokkerzeel. It has been in service until the beginning of the nineties and was used by the Nazis during the 2nd world war as a “tour de guete”.

Olivier Papegnies 600x398 Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

Chateau d’eau, image courtesy Bham design studio | Photo by Olivier Papegnies

In 2004 a procedure was filled to protect and preserve the building witch the Royal commission for the protection and preservation of monuments and sites accepted.
The exterior of the tower was fully renovated to its initial state. Damaged concrete columns were repaired and painted, brick joints were completely removed and replaced and the windows in the floor top were enlarged.

The works for a complete renovation and conversion into a single family house started in 2007.

The program

The program foresees two distinct profiles of users. The private and main user is the client, a couple living at the tower daily. Once or twice a month, part of the building is rented for very exclusive events targeting management people looking for a place to make workshops, high profile companies that seek a unique place to meet top clients near by the airport. Every room is equipped with the latest IT technology, domotics and the possibility to install projectors virtually anywhere on the top floor.

WTC Mauro Brigham pM 7 600x399 Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

Chateau d’eau, image courtesy Bham design studio | Photo by Mauro Brigham

Interior architecture

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.

WTC Mauro Brigham pM 19 600x901 Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

Chateau d’eau, image courtesy Bham design studio | Photo by Mauro Brigham

0 – Main entrance & garage (2 cars)

1 – Technical room, storage and utility

2 – Guest room & office
An envelope inside the envelope. The combination of vertical and horizontal wengé surfaces delineates the guest’s bedroom area with its own bathroom.

JASMINE Mauro Brigham pM 5 600x900 Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

Chateau d’eau, image courtesy Bham design studio | Photo by Mauro Brigham

3 – Bathroom
A central 4.5 meter high shower was created in the bathroom in order to maximize the water flow experience. Black tainted glass walls surround the walk in shower increasing the sense of intimacy.
Textile as visual separation from the cupboards was introduced to create a balance with the other “hard” materials and enhance the room’s acoustics.

WTC Mauro Brigham pM 3 600x942 Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

Chateau d’eau, image courtesy Bham design studio | Photo by Mauro Brigham

4 – Bedroom
This circular room with a dome ceiling hosts a revolving stairs leading to the upper floor and a full monolithic mirror dressing witch reflects the surroundings and gradually disappears.
Wengé wood flooring contrasts with the cold nature of the mirror surfaces. Light reflection on the wood bounces providing warm reddish tones on the walls.

JASMINE Mauro Brigham pM 600x399 Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

Chateau d’eau, image courtesy Bham design studio | Photo by Jasmine Van Hevel

5 – Living room, kitchen and dining room
Impressive by its circular shape and large surface, the top floor affords some incredible vistas to the airplanes landing on the national airport just a quarter of a kilometer away.
The elevator block integrates a rest room, a library, the cat house and a cloak room.
Above the sculptural kitchen furniture, a steel bridge takes you to the terrace.

6 – Panoramic terrace
The terrace provides a full panoramic view and is equipped with raised IPE wood flooring and a shower.

CH2O lightstudy Mauro Brigham pM Chateau d’eau Water Tower Conversion | Bham Design Studio

Chateau d’eau - Lighting study, drawing courtesy Bham design studio

+ Project credits / data

Project: Water Tower Conversion
Location: Belgium
Construction : 1938
Beginning of interior works: 2007
Surface: 450 m²
Floors: 6
Height: 30m

Interior architect (Interior architecture, garden, terrace and coordination of the works): Mauro Brigham | BHAM design studio
Architect (Renovation of the exterior and structural works): Wouter Bilzen, MUNA
Photographers: Jasmine Van Hevel, Olivier Papegnies, Mauro Brigham

+ All images and drawings courtesy Bham Design Studio

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Category: Architecture, House, Selected

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