PAD Studio Convert a 1900s Brick Water Tower into a Contemporary Living Space

Making the old new again is always a challenge, and this four story tower from London is no exception. The tower was first built back in the early 1900s, and was used to supply water to the nearby Fritham House.


At some point in the past the tower became obsolete, and was replaced by a more modern system. In the intervening period between its abandonment and restoration, it was left to degrade, compounding the feat faced by PAD Studio.



The UK based architecture firm, PAD Studio, were enlisted to oversee the design and conversion of the old water tower. Works were completed back in 2016, which seen the tower converted into a trendy home that features a mix of old and new. The project was subsequently dubbed Lister Tower.



The newly refurbished tower contains an overall floor area of 624.31-square-feet (58-square-meters) spread over its four story’s. Each floor acts as a single room serving a single function – there’s not much space for anything else.


The ground floor acts as a kind of lobby, connecting the tower to the attached pump house. On the first floor there’s a bedroom (complete with a single bed and some storage units). The second contains the living room and features a swooping staircase to the bathroom above.


From the architects: “PAD began the refurbishment by stripping away the existing furnishing and decor to reveal the water towers historic fabric, before proposing a number of contemporary interventions, including a large protruding window and sculptural steel staircase.”


There doesn’t appear to be a kitchen in the new development – perhaps it can be found in the pump house, or perhaps the unit is to be used as a guest house only. Either way, there’s no doubt it makes for a unique stay. It can be found in the area of New Forest in New Hampshire, England.


Fore more small houses check out Piraja House by Estudio BRA, which squeeze into a tight lot. Or, this Island House that makes for an amazing scenic getaway. See all small houses.

Photos © Nigel Rigden

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. Maybe the kitchen is based at Micky Dees, or KFC…oh…wait…no. KFC is now officially unreliable stock wise lol

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