Sackville Water Tower is a Grade II Listed building and was constructed in 1914 by W. Vaux-Graham who was an engineer to the Water Board. The Tower was granted planning listed building consent for conversion into a single residential dwelling. The tower is built of sandstone and consists of a single void, 16 metres high, up to the base of the old tank which occupied the uppermost section of the tower. The square tower has angled turrets and one circular stair turret to the top floor which provided access around the tank up on to the roof level.
We designed the interior to retain as much of the original building as practically possible in order to maintain its industrial character. The main living spaces have been located at the top (with access to the roof terrace) with the bedrooms occupying the lower floors.
The tower now consists of seven floors, with a reception room on the ground floor and a playroom on the first floor and bedrooms on the second, third and fourth floors. One large room occupies the top floor which consists of the main living space with a mezzanine kitchen level. There are 74 steps to the living room and 93 steps to the mezzanine kitchen level. The existing internal walls have been left as painted brickwork in order to retain the building’s character and the existing spiral staircase within the living/kitchen area has been retained and reused.
Converting water towers can be problematic. Apart from the obvious practical difficulties with access, the main issue to overcome is the ‘means of escape’ and compliance with building regulations. In order to ensure that the occupants can escape in the event of a fire a sprinkler system is required, plus smoke detectors and a fire alarm system.
The building now consists of four bedrooms and a large double-height living and kitchen area to the top floor, with the roof terrace above.