Unique Water Towers Around the World

Warner Bros. water tower
[Photo: MaxVT]

An animated image of the WB tower would have been great but I couldn't seem to find any downloadable versions. Animaniacs was one of my favourite cartoons. Having a son made watching awesome cartoons justifiable. I NEVER had to sit through My Little Pony or Power Puff Girls. I got to see Teen Titans and Johnny Bravo and the Tick. I really don't know how I would have survived little girl cartoons with my sanity intact. Anyway, on to the rest of the post. Which is a very serious post about real water towers.

Water towers are a necessary part of city living and have been in use for centuries. Because of that they exist in a wide range of designs from ancient to modern freaks of construction. My preference leans toward the older styles found in Europe. My inability to use my hands well at the moment prevents me from including as many as I would have liked, or write about them the way I prefer. I've quoted liberally from wiki and by quoted I mean copied and pasted, and I also linked to sites that have even more lists of towers, if you're interested. 

A lot of the water towers listed here have been converted into living space and/or restaurants. I would kill to have an apartment in any one of the renovated water towers! Restaurant on top? Bonus.

Johannesburg Tower, Midrand, South Africa
[Leoa's Photography]
At 6.5 megalitres it is the largest water tower in the southern hemisphere. Created of post-tensioned concrete, the cone on a 23 ft. (4 m.) diameter stem with a 33 ft. (10 m.) cube mass concrete base.

The cone meets the stem at the surface of a pond, giving a floating effect to the massive concrete form. A spiral staircase runs up the centre like a straw in a glass. Provisions were made for a revolving restaurant at the top of the tower.

Thorpeness Water Tower, Suffolk, UK
Thorpeness, Suffolk, UK
[photo: Martin Pettitts]

Also known as the "house in the clouds"

The House in the Clouds is a water tower at Thorpeness, Suffolk, UK. It was built in 1923 to receive water pumped from Thorpeness Windmill and was designed to improve the looks of the water tower, disguising its tank with the appearance of a weather-boarded building more in keeping with Thorpeness's mock-Tudor and Jacobean style, except seeming to float above the trees.

During the Second World War, the House in the Clouds was hit by gunfire from anti-aircraft guns based at Thorpeness. The water tank was repaired using its own steel, which resulted in a reduced capacity. In 1977 the water tower was made redundant by a mains water supply to the village, and additional living space was created. 

In 1979 the main water tank was removed to fully convert the building into a house. The building currently has five bedrooms and three bathrooms; it contains a total of 68 steps from top to bottom and is around 70ft high. [wiki]

Trollhättan Water Tower, TrollhättanVästergötland, Sweden
Trollhättan, Västergötland, Sweden
[Photo: L T Petterssen]

"The  is a landmark in central Trollhättan in . It is located next to the Queen's Square and University College West. The tower was built in 1909 by architect Erik Josephsson at the same year as Olidan Power Station. In 1992 it was converted to a tower of apartments. In total the tower consists of nine one or two storey apartments."

Haukilahti Water Tower, Haukilahti, Espoo, Finland
Haukilahti, Espoo, Finland
[Photo: Antti Leppänen]

The water tower was built in 1968 and owned by the Espoo waterworks. The height of the tower is 45.3 m and from sea level 76.3 m.

[Photo: Ppntori]

In the top part of the water tower is a restaurant called Haikaranpesä ("Stork's nest"). It is a very popular restaurant and many businessmen and tourists go there to eat. A scene of the Finnish film Musta Jää was filmed in the restaurant. The restaurant has great views and looks beautiful but I don't know if I'd be up for eating anything.

Old Water Tower in Landskrona, Sweden

[Photo: Fredrik Johansson]

For views from this tower check out this website where there is a slideshow. Makes me want to visit. The Old Water Tower lies at the highest point in the town and is a key local landmark. The attractive red brick building was designed by the architect Fredrik Sundbärg. It was completed in 1903.

Interesting water towers in Sweden could be its own post, there are so many of them.

Palić Water Tower, Serbia

[Photo: here]

The Water Tower, now the symbol of Palic, was built at the beginning of the 20th century as a multipurpose facility: a water tower, gate of the resort and a tram station. This building was designed in Hungarian art nouveau style.

The lake attached to this park is unique as well. The water is sulphurous, alkaline and muriatic, and has a temperature of 25°C (77F). It contains lithium and rubidium, which aid in the treatment of rheumatic and nerve diseases. Strontium, which is an ingredient of the mineral-rich mud, helps bone fusion. Treatment at Palić involves drinking medicinal water and bathing in heated water and mud. [source]

North Point Water Tower, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
It was built out of limestone from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
[Photo: Amy Barr]

This 175-foot Victorian Gothic Tower was built in 1873 to house a 120-foot wrought iron standpipe. 

Copper roof with a lovely vert de gris pattina
[Photo: J.R. Manning]
Why don't they make stuff like this anymore? Following quote taken from a marker beside the structure:

The 1871 Wisconsin legislature authorized the City of Milwaukee to finance and build a public water system. By 1873 the Board of Water Commissioners had constructed the old North Point Pumping Station below the bluff with intake from Lake Michigan, this tower, a reservoir a mile west, and 55 miles of water mains delivering cheap, plentiful, pure water to Milwaukee’s people and industry.

This 175 foot Victorian Gothic Tower, designed by Charles A. Gombert and made of cut Niagara limestone from Wauwatosa, houses a circular wrought iron standpipe 120 feet high and four feet in diameter. Until construction of a new pumping station in 1963 the standpipe water absorbed pulsations of reciprocating steam-driven engines, and the tower prevented ice forming in the standpipe during cold weather.

Wieża Cisnień, Wrocław, Poland

The water tower at Sudecka Street in Wrocław was designed by Karl Klimm, a reputed local architect. Famed at the beginning of the 20th century, Klimm also designed the impressive building of the Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology and the Zwierzyniecki Bridge.

This giant brick construction was modeled on medieval castles. The tower was placed on solid foundations, which housed flats for company employees operating the water supply system.

During the Battle of Festung Breslau in 1945 the tower served as a command point. The surrounding area was heavily bombed and damaged in raging combat, yet the tower remained almost intact during World War II. However, the war and the following years saw the tower suffer greatly from neglect. Until the mid eighties the tower served as a reservoir, equalizing water pressure for the southern districts.

In 1995 the tower was purchased from the city by the Stephan Elektronik Investment Company. The building was rejuvenated and started its new life as a stylish restaurant complex, called Wieża Cisnień (the Polish name for "water tower") [wiki]

[Photo: bojuni]

The Svaneke Water Tower in the small town of Svaneke on the Danish island of Bornholm was designed by award-winning architect Jørn Utzon and completed in 1952. It was the first successful project of the architect who would later design the Sydney Opera House. The surprisingly shaped water tower was inspired by the old sea marks used for assisting the navigation of ships at sea.

The pyramidal water tank is supported by three slender ferro-concrete legs which meet at the top of the tower. The centrally placed steps, also made of concrete, wind up elegantly from the ground. The water tower was taken out of service in 1988 when alterations to the water supply system were introduced. Since 1990, it has been a listed building (by Heritage Agency of Denmark)

Tarnow, Poland
[Photo: alemark]

Called "pumpkin" by locals, it's still used as a water tower but plans are in the works for a re-design. Restaurants of course.

Height: 32 meters. It is owned by Tarnowski Water and continues to function as a storage zone for the internal water pressure and the pressure stabilization in the area. Tower project was developed at the Technical University of Warsaw.

Poland also has a mulitude of interesting water towers. Check them out here. Check out some interesting towers in Hungary here.

I was inspired to do this post by a page on one of my favourite sites. I didn't use all their examples so check out their page here if you want to see more.



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