The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Great Designs in Wood (31) - The Water Tower House of London
Well, I'm not sure what I quite think about this one...but the comments on the bed and breakfast website from folks who have stayed in the house, make it sound great!

Go to the website here, and after viewing the photographs, click on the  "Street View" tab. Pretty neat.

Just goes to show, whatever people want to do, wood will make it better. Don't think the folks who stay here would be as crazy about it if the walls were the original concrete. Couldn't find a reference to what kind of wood is used, but it looks like a pine species from the photos.

From a story on the structure in the London Daily Mail...
Tom Dixon, the acclaimed designer known for his work with the Habitat chain, bought the tower and its surrounding land in 2005 and has been overseeing his vision for a futuristic home ever since.
First it was sectioned off into three storeys and clad with timber, then a dozen windows were cut into its walls.
The levels are connected by spiral stairs. Access from the outside is provided by a steel staircase but a lift is to be fitted in the next stage of the development, linking the ground to the first storey.
Inside, the tower has been fitted out to meet the highest eco-friendly standards and a 'heat exchange' system using water pumped from the Grand Union Canal, which runs by the foot of the tower, is planned.
Even after its external makeover, the tower - next to Sainsbury's in Ladbroke Grove - is not exactly a classical beauty. But for anyone inside looking out, it offers some of the best views in the capital."


Large concrete supports were needed to protect it against the wind, and cutting into the sections of the water tank's concrete to fit the prefabricated timber cladding and interior structure was a delicate process.
So what kind of living experience will it provide? 'There is a certain sense of isolation with the supermarket and its car park below,' says Harris, 'but it's surprisingly quiet up there. 
'It's not for vertigo sufferers, though. In a narrow structure like this - the diameter of the house is 25ft - you really feel it.

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Hmm, only five minutes walk from Portobello Road. Maybe I'll stay there the next time I get to London. Lots of great old Victorian architecture around there. And I could use the exercise of climbing those stairs two or three times a day to work off the bangers and mash and toad-in-the-hole that I'll undoubtedly consume.

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