Cousins Flip Previous Water Tower They Used to Play In as Youngsters Into Cozy Household House

Two cousins ​​from the Dutch city of Nieuw-Lekkerland recently received an award for turning an old water tower into a modern and stylish home for their respective families.

Sven and Lennart de Jong grew up in a house right next to the old water tower in Nieuw-Lekkerland and settled in it as children. When they heard it was going up for auction in 2011, they decided to place a bid on it. The around 200,000 euros they had offered turned out to be sufficient, and from 1915 the two became owners of an abandoned building. Sven and Lennart knew their work was over, but they dreamed of making the water tower their home in a decade. and managed to make it. For their performance, the two received the 2020 Water Tower Award, an award for the best conversion of a historic water tower.

The two cousins ​​weren’t married when they bought the old water tower, but they knew they wanted to raise their children there. When they met their spouses, they revealed their intentions and were fortunate enough to receive the necessary support. After work, they worked late into the night to convert the old structure into decent living space for two families as quickly as possible.

Lennart and his wife Arianne decided to move into the tower as soon as she got pregnant, and they reached their destination, but only barely. Two weeks before their daughter was due to be born, the couple decided to move to their new home on the third floor of the tower. Just climbing the long stairs wasn’t ideal for heavily pregnant Arianne, so they rented a cherry picker and lifted her to the window of their new home. Their daughter Koosje was born later that day, two weeks before the due date.

Today the interior of the water tower has been completely redesigned and offers a combination of industrial, robust elements with a rural and natural touch. However, the two cousins ​​had to do everything from scratch, including the installation and electrical wiring. The work has paid off because the two families now live in one of the coolest houses in the Netherlands.

The large, floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of light and offer a wonderful view of the Nieuw-Lekkerland on the one hand and a picturesque Dutch polder landscape with many windmills on the other.

The two houses occupy the three original floors of the water tower (each 6 meters high), which have since been converted into five smaller floors. Each family has two floors to themselves and a shared garden room on the ground floor. But there is a lot of room to expand.

The water tank itself, located on top of the tower, has yet to be remodeled and is large enough to become a third home. Not to mention the flat roof that the two cousins ​​want to transform into a beautiful terrace. But even in its current condition, the water tower house was impressive enough to win the 2020 water tower award.

“The basis for the successful renovation is the extremely powerful design by Ruud Visser and Fumi Hoshino from RV Architectuur,” wrote the jury. “Large, floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the Lek river and the polder contribute to the quality of the rooms in the tower and fit seamlessly into the robust appearance. It is especially refreshing to see that inspiring reuse can be realized in an economical way. The architects’ motto during the design process was: “Don’t transform a water tower into a house, live in a water tower”. And that is exactly the strength of this renovation! “

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