Historic architecture and design has always fascinated the architects and home owners. And, the latest trend in Europe is to turn German World War II bunkers into luxury houses. Immense sized concrete towers, gas chambers and bunkers with incredibly thick walls that proved to be difficult and even impractical of destroying, are the remains of the Nazi Europe, which is getting an entirely new meaning in the real estate market. Back in 1939, when World War II was underway, these massive structures got constructed. And, now these structures usually scattered along the beach or stranded in fields have cultivated an aesthetic aura that continues to intensify with the widening of cultural gulf and generation gap between the contemporary life and war times. Modern architects and people with discerning tastes are now transforming these dark Nazi bunkers into trendy lighted-up homes, decorated with all the luxe amenities that the WWII soldiers might have never thought of while fighting. One such example of domesticating the WWII Nazi infrastructural relic is the transformation of 30m concrete high water tower in Belgium into an opulent residence by the Bham Design Studio.
Memories down the lane:-
Built between 1938 and 1941, near Steenokkerzeel, a village located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant, this 30-meter massive and tall structure primarily functioned as a water tower.
Until the 90s, it has been under the service and was briefly used by Nazis during the Second World War.
In 2004, a procedure was filed to protect and preserve the water tower structure, which the Royal commission for the protection and preservation of monuments and sites accepted. And, it got decommissioned and preserved as a war monument.
In 2008, Bham Design Studio started the work for complete renovation, converting the water tower into a single family house with 450 sq. mt area and 6 floors. As part of the renovation, the exterior of the tower was fully restored to its initial state. Further, the damaged concrete columns were got repaired and painted, the brick-joints were all removed and replaced, and the windows in the floor top were enlarged for the views and for the light to come in.
The existing concrete elements which includes the main water conduct, the concrete ceilings, concrete stairs along with the 250,000 liters concrete water basin were essential to preserve, showcasing the strong historic identity of the building. further, every visible concrete element inside the water tower was painted in dark grey color in order to distinguish the old from the new.
The fully renovated house now features a garage for 2 cars, technical room, storage and utility, guest room with its own bathroom, a office and a bathroom featuring 4.5 meter high shower.
The bedroom is basically a circular room with a dome ceiling features a revolving stairs that leads to the upper floor and a monolithic dressing mirror which reflects the surroundings.
The elevator block in the building integrates a rest room, a library, a cloak room and a specially designed cat house.
Impressive by its large surface and circular shape, the top floor features some spectacular vistas to the landing of airplanes on the nearby national airport. Further a steel bridge connects this floor to the terrace, which is equipped with a shower and little raised IPE wood flooring, provides full panoramic view of the village Steenokkerzeel.
The house has been designed for two permanent residents, while the part of the building, once or twice a month remains available on rent for exclusive events.