Ancient Fortress Transformed into a Defensible Tower Home


When these architects say ‘defensible space’, they mean it in a drastically literal fashion. Centuries old and made to rebel French invaders from the shores of Britain, this defense tower has stood the test of time.

Originally, over 100 such towers dotted the coastal landscape, constructed to defend against a potential invasion by Napoleon. Cannons were mounted atop them, lofted to 30 feet above the ground below. They were abandoned nearly 150 years ago – this one was rediscovered (or rather: re-envisioned) recently, however, by?Duncan Jackson and?Piercy Conner Architects.

Spiral stairs now line the interior, while a popped-up roof provides 360-degree elevated views of the surrounding shoreline and farmland.

Private rooms are tucked into nooks and crannies of the large cavernous space, while light wells bring illumination to core areas like the open-plan living, entry and gathering areas.

Underneath layers of wind-blown soil, 750,000 thick stone bricks make this a warm and cozy space during the winter, and help keep out the hot summer sun. Multiple feet of standing water had to be cleared, though, before this aged space could become a livable place. Definitely a bit more of a beast than your typical grain silo, ?lifeguard tower,?fire watchtower, or water tower home conversion.

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