New owners of £2m Grand Designs Kennington Water Tower reveal strangers knock on their door and ask to look around 10 years after it appeared on the show
- Jamie Hamer and housemate Susanna live in Grand Designs’ popular Water Tower in Kennington
- They revealed curious neighbours come take a peak at their nine-floors Grade II listed home everyday
- Property includes the UK’s biggest sliding door, and a water tank that used to hold 38,000 gallons of water
- Tower was converted on the show in 2012 and is considered one of Grand Designs most popular projects
The owners of one of Grand Designs’ most popular conversation have revealed that strangers ring the doorbell and ask to have a look at their property, ten years on from when it appeared on the show.
Jamie Hamer and his housemate Susanna live in a eye-catching £2million Water Tower conversion in Kennington, South West London.
Jamie bought the property in 2021, which counts nine floors and comes with the UK’s biggest sliding doors, from its previous owners, Leigh Osborne and Graham Voce.
The couple bought the Grade II listed building for £380,000 – and spent almost £2million converting it from a crumbling ruin into a family home in 2012, during an episode of Grand Designs that has become one of the show’s most cited stories.
Ten years on, Jamie revealed that the house is still fascinating people, and that and Susanna will open it up to the public during the Open House Festival in September.
Jamie Hamer and his housemate Susanna live in a eye-catching £2million Water Tower conversion in Kennington, South West London, which appeared on Grand Designs in 2012
Jamie, left, bought the house when it was at a £2.75million asking price in 2021 after falling in love with it following just one visit
‘We often get people ringing the doorbell asking if they can take a look around,’ Jamie told Rightmove.
‘Then some will ask where the buzzers for the other flats are. They’re surprised to find out it’s one home,’ he added.
The 100ft tower, which also boasts 360 degree views across the capital, featured on the popular Channel 4 series hosted by Kevin McCloud, in the 100th episode of the show.
At the time, Mr McCloud said: ‘I thought that story had everything.
The preview owners added a glass cube on the lower levels of the tower housing the kitchen and living-room, which includes the UK’s largest sliding doors
A terrace with 360 views over the city is located on top of what used to be the Tower’s water tank, which could hold up to 30,000 gallons of water
‘Conservation, ridiculous debt – he borrowed his grandmother’s credit card and owes £95,000 just to finish this thing – ludicrous ambition and extraordinary vision. It’s crazy but he pulls it off.
Jamie told the Evening Standard when he brought the property: ‘I have always been fascinated by castles and this is the closest I’ll get to owning one in central London.’
Before he bought the Kennington property, him and Susanna both lived on the same road in Fulham. The pair became friends as neighbours.
Jamie explained his love of West London almost cost him the Water Tower, because Elephant and Castle and Kennington were not on his radar when he initially started to look for a flat.
A lot at the tower’s stairs. The building houses nine floors, and Susanna admitted she and Jamie would get lost when they initially moved in
The tower before it was renovated in 2012. The Kennington Water Tower episode is one of Grand Designs’ most popular to this day
He admitted that when he first laid eyes on the property, he didn’t think it was real and thought it was a ‘joke.’
But after just one visit, he fell in love with the property and made an offer shortly after.
London’s Open House Festival 2022, which will run from the 8 to the 21 September, will see Jamie and Susanna give tour of the property and talk visitors through its history for two weeks.
The tower was put for sale by Osborne and Voce in 2013 for £6.5million, however, the price was reduced to £4.75 in August of that year.
By the time it was sold to Harmer in 2021, the property’s asking price had sunk to £2.75 million. While it was not revealed how much the new owner paid for it, it was suggested to be close to asking price.
The tower was built in 1867 and used to supply water to the nearby Lambeth Workhouse, which used to house more than 800 destitute families, and where seven-year-old Charlie Chaplin lived with his mother.
By the time Osborne and Voce bought it, it was derelict, taken over by trees and weeds and filled with dead pigeons.
On top of restoring the tower to its former glory and turning it into a four bedrooms and bathrooms, the couple added a two-level glass cube on the upper ground floor to house the kitchen and living area.
Osborne and Voce also turned the top room into an impressive 24sqft reception area offering panoramic views of the city.
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