Water Tower restoration project featuring Abode Design tap


The designer: Paul Illingworth at Abode Design

The photographer: Dennis Pedersen

The story: As an award-winning designer and distributor of market-leading kitchen taps, sinks, bathroom taps and showering solutions, Abode Design were delighted to bring eco-luxe convenience to a unique water tower restoration project in Castle Acre, Norfolk with Pronteau, a high-specification range of steaming hot water taps with exclusive safety features.

Designer Q&A:

Q) What was your brief from the client?

As the client was project managing his dream family home and very hands-on with the build, affordability and sustainability were important factors through the renovation. In addition, as he wanted to honour the former history and function of the building, choosing a water delivery system which was in keeping with its past as well as being safe for everyone in the household to use was paramount.

Q) How did you answer the brief?

We noted that steampunk style was a big part of the client’s aesthetic and this was coming through in his project as he set to work transforming a village landmark into a simple, modern home. With this in mind, we could recommend taps that would ensure the height of convenience, design continuity and eco luxury in his contemporary living space.

Q) Which products did you use and why?

Following the addition of a new cross-laminated timber tower and careful infilling, the original water tank is now an open-plan kitchen living space, so the prep zone was highly visible. We recommended our Pronteau Propure 4 IN 1 steaming hot water tap in an ultra-fashionable Urban Copper finish, as its industrial vibe was in keeping with the house style as well as referencing the long history of copper piping in plumbing.

Offering domestic cold, hot, filtered cold and up to 98° steaming hot water, the Propure hot water tap removes the need for a kettle and water-filter jugs, which take up valuable space and will save the client time and money in the long run.

As the property needs to cater for a family of four, the additional breakfast room on the second floor is also designed with a Pronteau Propure 4 IN 1, so that healthy hot and cold drinks are always available. And to ensure extra peace of mind in a busy household, all Pronteau hot taps are insulated, which means the water is hotter at the end of the spout but the outside surface remains cool to touch.

Q) Was there any building/renovation work involved?

This was a very exciting project to be part of alongside property owner Dennis Pedersen and Tonkin Liu Architects, as they meticulously came together to reimagine a derelict industrial water tank into a contemporary, family home.

Dennis purchased the water tower at auction for £20,000 in 2015, and then project-managed all the building work himself to save money and realise Tonkin Liu’s architectural vision with the help of a local builder.

There is a spiral timber staircase and lift access to the original water tank, which has become a cantilevered, open-plan kitchen-diner. The steel supporting frame has been filled in to provide two stacked sleeping chambers, with a ground-floor entrance and recreation area-cum-garden room. The new stair core stabilises the delicate structure against wind loads. Glass bridges connect it with each level. Constructed entirely from prefabricated cross-laminated timber elements, both cube-like bedrooms have integrated washrooms and accessible mezzanines to accommodate a family of four. Small high and low windows to the east and west provide cross-ventilation and castle-like views.

Q) What design elements do you think make the scheme so successful?

I think the client’s commitment to bringing his ideas to life is hugely inspiring, along with his determination to use the best possible sustainable solutions. The simplicity of the 160sq m design makes it aesthetically pleasing and family-friendly, and the client has definitely achieved the goal of a project that fits into the local landscape. For me, the combination of form and function throughout is particularly appealing and the client has thought of every detail in this forever home for a long-term eco-friendly lifestyle.

I am really pleased that Abode is helping the Pedersen family to reduce single use plastic and ultimately save time, water and money. In fact, our research shows that Pronteau wll help to save up to 2,920 plastic water bottles each year, plus retiring the kettle also makes significant energy savings by avoiding the need to boil the kettle, which is reported to be on average 4 times a day = 2,500 times each year minimum.

Q) Any advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?

I believe that safety and sustainability go hand in hand in interior design and construction, so make sure you are working with innovative brands who are committed to this ethos. For example, do your research to make sure that you are happy with the level of service offered when it comes to taking care of redundant water filters in an eco-friendly way. It also makes sense to look for WRAS approved taps and boilers, which are all regulated and approved under the Water Regulatory Advisory Scheme following extensive testing to ensure that the products do not cause waste or undue consumption.

Looking after your family’s well-being is at the heart of the kitchen, so I would also point out that a filter tap not only makes it easier to drink better tasting water, they are also great in hard water areas, like the South and East of England.

Delivering an endless supply of fresh filtered water on tap, this type of kitchen solution will assist around 60% of the UK, who are already classified as having hard or very hard water. Plus, as drinking more water continues to be strongly encouraged by health professionals, a filter water tap is investing in both your home and personal health.

Q) Any trend predictions for 2024?

Already set to be a strong year for kitchens, product design will undergo an increased level of refinement in 2024 as the wet zone expands its role in the home and essential sinks and taps not only serve the indoor kitchen but also utility rooms, laundry spaces and more recently, the home bar and games room.

Collectively, the kitchen living space is going to be led by two major style trends in 2024 with the first being New Nordic, which offers a contemporary blend of minimalist design and high functionality, and the second, using Natural Materials in all aspects of interior design.

The details:

Propure 4 IN 1 Quad PT1164 Urban Copper and Propure 4 IN 1 Swan PT1154 Urban Copper taps, both by Abode Design

Hayley loves: the uniqueness of this restoration project, which blends safety with sustainability at every turn.

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert / hayleygilbertblog.wordpress.com

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert

  Website:  http://www.hayleygilbert.co.uk

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