It looks anything but modern on the exterior: a tall, dark tower made of stone with slots that look constructed for medieval archers and a turret-like top from which one can picture ancient defenders pouring boiling oil on would-be invaders.
The inside of this 1930s round water tower-turned-house, however, gleams white and smooth all around – quintessentially modern despite the non-linear walls and minimalist metal spiral staircases, curves that dominate each space within this completely remodeled cylinder.
Steel, concrete and glass form the basic material palette used by Zecc in this incredible contemporary home conversion – and these choices do help to transition from the aged rustic style of the preserved facade to the modern interior spaces, but they are nonetheless almost as different as can be.
From the architects:
“The steel bottom of the water tank divides the 1931 water tower in two. This dichotomy has been used to create a design based on the concept of two stacked houses; the lower house has a ‘traditional’ character with front door and garden, aimed at the outside world, while the upper, more introverted, house is turned inwards with a roof terrace that functions as a garden.”
“In the lower part, the traditional residential program is organized along a continuous spiral staircase: kitchen, living room, children’s rooms and bathroom. The last space has been placed directly under the water reservoir, to emphasize the relationship with the former function. In order to make a connection with the garden in the lower part of the tower and to bring in more daylight, the tower is ‘cut open’ at the rear over three layers. The facade has been placed outside, creating a void that connects the various residential floors. In this part, the details and choice of materials enhance the lively and industrial character of the tower: black concrete, glass and untreated steel.”
“At the top of the large water reservoir, the spaciousness has been enhanced by the installation of a sculptural ‘living room furniture’ with functions for the parents: sleeping, working, sauna and reading. The phenomenal roof terrace can be reached via a spiral staircase through the original ventilation opening in the roof. Color and material selection create a relaxed and soft atmosphere here.”