Patrick Mets loves “old, industrial buildings” and he’s always been fascinated by water towers. After years of scouting the Belgian countryside he found one for sale (for 30,000 euros or about $43,000 at the time) and began working to convert it into a home.
“It was quite naive that we bought it because we didn’t have any permit to convert it into something else,” explains Mets. “And so it took us 12 years, 7 years to get the necessary permit and 5 years of renovation work.”
Working with designer Mauro Brigham (NC & Bham), they tried to leave as much of the tower in its original state. Fortunately the 30-meter-high (90 feet) tower was built with windows- an oddity for a water tower-, but forty of them keep the converted home well lit.
The water tank itself was kept mainly intact. Brigham and Mets added a floor inside it and cut holes out of the sides for views and it now serves as the kitchen and living room.
After a couple years using the space as their full-time home, Mets and his partner Valérie Lecherf moved out to be closer to their daughters’ school. Today they rent the “Chateau d’Eau” for special events.