Intiö Water Tower – from sight to experience

Conceptual design plans for protected water tower.

Diploma Thesis for the Oulu University School of Architecture


Intiö Water tower, designed by architect J.S. Sirén in 1925, hasn’t been used to water maintenance since the 1960’s. The city of Oulu sold the tower in 2015 to Daniel Herrera Castro. The new owner has a strong vision in which the tower is opened up to public.

In my thesis, I have assisted Daniel with the design process. During the year 2016 I have studied how to design the intended functions into this architecturally significant building in a high class but realistic manner. The tower functions have been divided into three parts. The first part is the cathedral space on the bottom part of the tower where the cáfe is intended to be placed. The second part is the water reservoir which could hold a small and versatile cultural auditorium in the future. The third part is the cupola and the floor underneath. This section is intended to host a public sauna and some accommodation. The concrete cupola is also planned to be replaced with a steel structured glass dome, this would be the biggest proposed external change. In my thesis design progresses through series of options designed simultaneously to see if the ideas are possible to build into the difficult space.

My work concentrates on the practical side of the design process and solving problems in a unique environment which create its own set of challenges and possibilities. As the function changes from water maintenance to cáfe and cultural activity tower will face series of problems created by fire regulations, accessibility and escape routes. These issues have been tried to be solved through clever design.

My goal has been to create a set of plans which could help to pick the best possible overall design to convert this tower to a bursting meeting place for the public. Best architecture can be enjoyed daily, something that you don’t just look but also experience it.

Intiö Water Tower – from sight to experience, Diploma Thesis for Oulu University School of Architecture / counselor: Aulikki Herneoja / Author: Juho Tastula / Publication is readable on issuu.