Recongised in the 2006 AR Emerging Architecture awards, Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter’s water tower conversion retains and emphasises the landmark quality of the original structure
This piece was originally published in AR December 2006, alongside other projects commended in the AR Emerging Architecture awards that year. It was republished online in January 2020, as Dorte Mandrup was announced as a judge for the 2020 AREA awards. Find out more about AR Emerging Architecture here
Water towers are curious structures. Set in rural landscapes, some are objects of sculptural beauty. In cities, however, they commonly lack the same formal sophistication, dressed up as castellated turrets or left as purely utilitarian assemblages. Loved by some, loathed by others, many remain – formally crude, overengineered and top heavy. An option now exists, however. If you can’t bear to look at them, you can now live in them; in bolt-on apartments that provide excellent views that are blind to the tower’s external form. In this example the architects have fitted 40 apartments and a youth centre around the tower’s core, by occupying the space that sits between its hexagonal and dodecagonal structures. There are two plan types: a simple orthogonal unit; and a triangulated unit that (when paired up) shares the diamond-shaped space defined by four columns. The external form is articulated by a series of bay windows and balconies.
Water tower dorte mandrup drawings2
Find out more about AR Emerging Architecture here