A Penthouse Apartment in a London Water Tank Offers Utilitarian Style for $781K

The award-winning flat atop a 1950s Brutalist structure has a multistory interior finished with wood, concrete, and exposed electrical conduits.
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New to the market in northeast London, this converted one-bedroom penthouse sits atop a landmarked brutalist apartment building known as the Keeling House. Once a water tank, the concrete shell was expanded and retrofitted by architect Brian Heron in 2017. Heron’s design—which received numerous accolades and was shortlisted for a RIBA award—nods to the structure’s utilitarian origins with a simple palette of materials and clever storage solutions.

Located in London’s Bethnal Green neighborhood, the Grade II–listed Keeling House was designed by modernist architect Sir Denys Lasdun in 1955 and built between 1957–59. The local firm Munkenbeck and Marshall led an award-winning conversion of the building to private apartments in 2001.

In 2011, architect Brian Heron received planning permission to convert the unused rooftop water tank into a three-story penthouse. The project—completed in 2017—received several awards including Best Historic Intervention from New London Architecture’s 2018 "Don't Move, Improve" campaign.

Accessible via an elevator to the 14th floor, the apartment’s entrance opens into the original stairwell, which Heron opted to reinforce with a three-story steel frame to minimize loads on the protected concrete structure. The stairs stop first at the living area and kitchen, while the bedroom and bathroom are located up another flight. A glazed facade floods each level with sunlight from both the eastern and western ends, while fixed glass louvers reduce glare.

An open kitchen and living area occupy the lower level. Storage space is provided by several standalone metal units, along with open shelving on both sides.

The glazed ends of the space provide sunlight throughout the day.

All of the interior walls and ceilings are clad in oriented strand board (OSB), which provided Heron with flexibility for mounting fixtures and running the exposed electrical conduits without penetrating the original concrete shell. Adding to the utilitarian flair, exposed shelving and hidden compartments provide additional storage in each room.

In total, the flat offers just over 650 square feet, including one bedroom and one full bathroom. Located in the heart of Bethnal Green, the building offers convenient access to underground/overground lines and is within walking distance to many popular attractions, including the famous Columbia Road Flower Market. Keep scrolling to see more of the property, currently listed for £585,000 (approximately $770,ooo).

A central doorway opens to the stairwell.

Heron refinished the original steel staircase during the 2017 conversion. Stairs leads down to the main entrance and up to the bedroom/bathroom.

In the bedroom, a skylight provides natural light, while hidden compartments offer additional storage behind the bed.

The brightly lit space faces east, offering sunrise views of London.

Conversely, the bathroom provides sunset views from its position at the opposite end of the upper level. A wood surround encloses the tub and shower.

A closer look at the facade of the penthouse and the fixed louvres. The exterior is clad in glass-reinforced concrete (GRC) that, per the historic society, had to be matched to other sections of the existing concrete structure.

A view of the London skyline as seen from the western side of the apartment.

The Water Tank at Keeling House is currently listed for £585,000 (approximately $781,150) by Aucoot.

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