Above: The converted water tower seen standing just behind the Master’s House (right).
Following on the blog about Lambeth Workhouse, there is one more building to describe. Because the land on which the old workhouse stood was flat, it was necessary to construct a tall water-tower – with a large tank at the top – to produce sufficient water pressure to feed the water taps on the site. It was another building that was retained when the other buildings on the site were demolished. The water tower for the workhouse is Grade II listed.
In 2011 it was converted into an unusual residence with a lift and observation gallery – which had originally been the large water tank on the eighth floor. The new interior was designed by Sue Timney and the development was featured on the television show Grand Designs.
Above: View of the right-hand side of the tower as seen in the pictures at the top of this article. Much of the original hospital around the tower was demolished to make way for apartments which surround the tower today.
The unusual building is called Osborne Water Tower House and, when completed, must have had quite scenic views from the top. Since that time several high-rise blocks of flats and offices have been erected in the immediate vicinity – due to the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle roads, shops and offices – and the views from the top are likely to become more and more restricted with the passing of time.
The house would easily come top of an ‘unusual living space’ competition of this part of London. It may well be that it would be close to the top of such a competition for the whole of Inner London. It is hard to think of a conversion that rivals the unusual residence.