in nieuw-lekkerland, a village in the western netherlands, RVArchitecture has transformed a water tower into two residences that offer sweeping views across the dutch countryside. built in 1915, the structure is situated on a dike overlooking the lek river and the windmill populated landscape. the project revolved around two main challenges: how to create windows in the façades, without losing the character of the original structure; and how to configure the building so that it celebrates living inside the water tower, rather than appearing as a typical residential property.

RVArchitecture water tower
all images by rené de wit

 

 

RVArchitecture’s conversion of the project recently won the dutch watertowerprize 2020 — an award given every year to the owners of the best transformed water tower. the tower in nieuw-lekkerland belongs to two cousins who were born and raised very close to the site. in 2013, aged 21 at the time, the duo bought the building with a view to transforming it over the next decade. now complete, the tower and the surrounding area has been remodeled on a modest budget. in the meantime, they both got married and started families of their own.

RVArchitecture water tower

 

 

after conducting a thorough study, RVArchitecture — led by project architects ruud visser and fumi hoshino — concluded that the façade’s diamond-shaped windows must be preserved as they were essential to the structure’s character. however, the new openings were to designed to ‘dance around’ the diamond windows and were positioned in accordance to their respective floor plans. the windows in the sleeping areas are screened on the outside of the building with vertical wooden lattices that serve as curtains.

RVArchitecture water tower

 

 

with a diameter of 9 meters (30 feet), the hexagonal tower had to meet all housing and building regulations. however, the project’s ambition was to celebrate living inside this unique structure. the tower has been divided into three sections: a double height garden-room, and two, two-storey dwellings above. offering panoramic views, both homes have a floor with a living area and a separate floor for the sleeping quarters.

RVArchitecture water tower

 

 

‘the basis of the successful transformation is formed by the powerful design of ruud visser and fumi hoshino,’ states the jury of the dutch watertowerprize. ‘huge floor-to-floor windows looking out over the river de lek and the dutch polder landscape contribute to the quality of the spaces inside and fit perfectly with the robust appearance of the watertower. it is refreshing to see that such an inspiring transformation can be realized with a small budget.’

RVArchitecture water tower

RVArchitecture water tower

RVArchitecture water tower

RVArchitecture transforms water tower in the netherlands to contain two unique dwellings

RVArchitecture transforms water tower in the netherlands to contain two unique dwellings

RVArchitecture transforms water tower in the netherlands to contain two unique dwellings

RVArchitecture transforms water tower in the netherlands to contain two unique dwellings

RVArchitecture transforms water tower in the netherlands to contain two unique dwellings

RVArchitecture transforms water tower in the netherlands to contain two unique dwellings

RVArchitecture transforms water tower in the netherlands to contain two unique dwellings

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: watertower in nieuw-lekkerland
location: nieuw-lekkerland, the netherlands
architecture: RVArchitecture
project architects: ruud visser and fumi hoshino
awards: dutch watertowerprize 2020
photography: rené de wit