Grand De­signs wa­ter tower home is put on the mar­ket

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - County Square - By Rachael Woods

As­tun­ning home on stilts with un­ri­valled views across open coun­try­side is on the mar­ket.

The Wa­ter Tower in Rol­ven­den is the home of Bruno and Denise Del Tufo, who trans­formed the un­promis­ing con­crete struc­ture at the bot­tom of their gar­den into a glass-clad home that won plau­dits from Grand De­signs’ pre­sen­ter Kevin McCloud.

Hav­ing branded it “an ugly brute of a build­ing” at first sight, Kevin later de­scribed the glass and zinc cre­ation that be­came the Del Tufo’s home, as one of his top three projects from the en­tire show.

It’s now on the mar­ket through up­mar­ket Lon­don es­tate agent KnightFrank for £895,000.

Bruno, 68, says that prac­ti­cal­i­ties are be­hind the de­ci­sion to say good­bye to their dream home as they con­tem­plate full re­tire­ment. “The house is a de­light to live in but it’s bet­ter to move while we can and be­fore we have to,” said Bruno.

“We’ve had an im­mense amount of plea­sure from the house but we can ei­ther carry on in our dotage and be car­ried out of it, or let some­one else write the next chap­ter. It’s like hand­ing over a ba­ton.”

The cou­ple first bought a Vic­to­rian cot­tage, West Lodge, on the land and at the time their solic­i­tor sug­gested they might re­search the wa­ter tower at the end of their gar­den if they hadn’t al­ready knocked it down.

It tran­spired the tower was de­signed by ac­claimed ar­chi­tect Ed­win Lu­tyens, the cre­ator of the Ceno­taph in Lon­don, to sup­ply wa­ter to the ad­ja­cent Great Maytham Hall, and that the set­ting was the in­spi­ra­tion for the chil­dren’s clas­sic The Se­cret Gar­den, by Frances Hodg­son Bur­nett.

Bruno, a re­tired sculp­tor and vis­it­ing teacher of vis­ually im­paired chil­dren and his wife Denise, 62, an an­tiques dealer, de­cided to sell West Lodge and in 2005 em­barked on cre­at­ing their fu­ture home.

They had come across the work of Tun­bridge Wells ar­chi­tect Derek Briscoe and ap­pointed him af­ter ad­mir­ing his trans­for­ma­tion of a con­crete bunker in Chisle­hurst.

The con­crete wa­ter tower be­fore it was trans­formed and sur­rounded by scaf­fold­ing while the Del Tu­fos en­dured a bit­ter win­ter in their car­a­van dur­ing the build­ing project

The Wa­ter Tower in its full splen­dour

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