We have passed this water tower many times and wondered what it was and who did it. Now we know. It's a recycled house, designed by British designer Tom Dixon. It's across the street from his studio, which should have been a big clue...
It's huge: 60 feet high. The concrete exterior has been clad with wood and windows have been punched through. There is a fire escape ladder leading up six flights to its front door.
Designer Tom Dixon bought it in 2005 and the renovation of the 5,000 gallon water tank has been a labour of love (and grief) since then. He wanted to transform this local landmark built in the '30's into a town house in the sky. Apparently, "large concrete supports were needed to protect it against the wind, and cutting into the sections of the water tank's concrete to fit the prefabricated timber cladding and interior structure was a delicate process."
The insides have been fitted out to the highest eco standards, including a heat exchange system that will be installed and draw water from the nearby Grand Union Canal to cool the interior.
And it's for rent! So, courtesy of Airbnb, we can all get a look around. It's 23 feet in diameter and there are three floors, with a living room, kitchen and bathroom on the first floor, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, and a large living area on the third with windows all around. There is access to the roof terrace on top for fabulous views of the area.
Eventually it will be put up for sale. Welcome to the London real estate market: the developers have reportedly sunk £800,000 ($1.25 million) into the project so far, but properties of a similar size in the area have gone for ten times that amount, although they would probably have had a front door at ground level.
Dixon's design studio cum showroom is across the road. It is a canal side enterprise perched over the still waters. There is a shop and a restaurant as well. Last summer this display of logs by Quebec landscapers was held there.