See stunning views from water tower converted into dream home
- Credit: Chris Bishop
Clouds sail over the distant hills like galleons as a storm builds. Dennis Pedersen and Misia Godebska can keep a weather eye on the countryside for miles around from high above the treetops.
For while some convert barns or tart up tumbledown cottages, the couple had far loftier ambitions when it came to their dream home.
Six years ago, they bought a rusting water tower on the edge of Castle Acre, near Swaffham, for £25,000.
They said they thought they could do something "pretty cool" with it. The question was how to turn the 1950s structure into a home.
Architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu came up with an eco-build within the tower, using laminated spruce with metal cladding. On the fourth floor, the tank would become a living space with panoramic picture windows.
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Mr Pedersen, a still life photographer, did much of the donkey work alongside local tradespeople. Even so, the project cost upwards of £350,000.
"I was very involved with the build, I did a lot of the lifting and shifting," he said. "About half way through, I just looked up and thought: 'That's a lot bigger than I thought. Oh God, what have I taken on?
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"But once you start, what can you do - you've just got to keep going."
Ties which helped to keep the tank in shape have been recycled as balustrades for the spiral stairs which wind up through a second tower added to the side, connected to the rooms on each floor by a bridge.
The vessel is lined with its original cast iron panels while the giant ball cocks which switched off the supply when the tank was full have been turned into lamps.
But while the interior's rusty shades shout steampunk chic, the view through the windows simply steals the show.
"It's really fun in a storm because you feel like you're in a ship at sea," said Ms Godebska, who works as a fashion designer, as the thunderclouds gathered on the horizon. ""It rocks slightly, it still has movement."