B + W Tower
Tower Bridge, London
Client: Mr & Mrs Andrew Wadsworth
Five upper floors of a disused water tower were converted into a private apartment as part of a general refurbishment of warehouse buildings overlooking the Thames at Bermondsey.
In response to the client’s brief and the intrinsic qualities of the building, each storey has been designed with its own individual character. In addition to three bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining accommodation, the apartment includes a billiards room, a work room, a larder ‘pod’ and a roof terrace.
‘While the owners lived aboard a boat moored nearby, Piers Gough set about defining the scheme. His immediate solution to living in this vertical space was to insert another floor at the top of the tower, a semicircular gallery like a ship’s poop deck.
The staircase to the top floor sweeps up with a ribbon-like grace, with wide gentle steps supported by sinuously curved steel. No two staircases between floors are alike, nor do they run above each other. The entrance hall, enclosed with marble, is grand; the stairs to the billiards-room are serviceably straight.
There are some witty interpretations throughout the house; the domed bedroom is reached through a secret door hidden in the panelling of the entrance hall staircase. The kitchen contains broken pediments, fake stone finishes veined with lapis lazuli and jade in response to the clients’ brief to conceal the appliances in a ‘ruined temple.’
House and Gardens 1986