Home designer pays tribute to WWII observation towers in unique home

June 12, 2014

Dotted along the Delaware coastline are 11 of them - sentinels that were built to last only 20 years, yet still stand, strong and brave. These are the observation towers - some call them fire- or watchtowers, built during the Second World War as a key piece in the nation's coastal defense to protect allied shipping from enemy attacks.

For over 30 years, designer Erik Kampmann of EMK Designs has been coming to and now lives at the Delaware beaches, and these monoliths have a firm place in his heart, so much so that he has designed a custom home featuring a stair tower to pay tribute to them.

Kampmann was approached by clients who wanted something different, a house that stands out in a classy way. With that in mind, Kampmann went to work on the design, keeping in mind the specific layout preferences of his clients, and knew that finally he had a project that could incorporate his vision.

The house has five bedrooms, two with private balconies, and three-and-a-half bathrooms with an open concept living/dining/kitchen area. The tower itself is a circular staircase from the ground floor to the second floor and features windows spiraling upward to allow for plenty of natural light. In addition, it is the centerpiece of the front elevation, to the point that it will have gorgeous orange board-and-batten siding which sets it off  against the slate blue of the main house.

EMK Designs is a full-service residential architectural studio providing creative and practical designs with remarkable attention to detail and plans builders love.  Kampmann has won awards for his designs while working for other firms and now offers his winning creativity from his own studio. More information can be found at

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