Au naturel

Offering an up-close-and-personal nature experience, this master suite is all about being relaxed in lush, green surroundings
The underlying theme of the house is the estate, home, house, interior design, property, real estate, room, window, wood, gray
The underlying theme of the house is the reinterpertation of public and private sales.

Although it may seem hard to believe in this age of steam showers, soaking tubs and integrated sound systems, in many parts of the world bathing rituals once took place entirely out-of-doors. In warm, tropical climates the interaction between man and nature was an integral part of daily life.

For the bathroom featured on these pages, the idea was to provide the owners with a sense of being on a tropical island every day, says architect Noel Lane.

"As well as being a family home, the house operates as a boutique lodge. The intention with the design was to give visitors a sense of escape. It makes sense then that the homeowners too, should benefit from the tropical vacation feel within their own private space."

Like the rest of the house, the bathroom plays on the accepted notions of solidity and lightness. Expansive glass doors replace the usual solid wall to create an open, airy environment that places the occupant quite literally in the lap of nature.

The physical presence of the bath and the architecture, bathroom, floor, home, interior design, real estate, room, gray, white
The physical presence of the bath and the swivelling panel in the concrete wall are visual elements that juxtapose solidity and lightness

"I wanted the homeowners to be able to shower and wash in an external environment, as a way of extending that paradisiacal feel. It was also a way of breaking down the usual hesitancy or modesty associated with bathing and to allow them to become completely relaxed in the environment," says Lane.

This exposure to the outdoors is coupled with a minimal look that acts in harmony with the openness. Lane says the minimal design has a practical as well as aesthetic rationale.

"Even though it's a large space the design has been pared back to make the day-to-day interaction as comfortable as possible.

"A bathroom is chiefly a task-oriented space and as such there tends to be more movement compared to other rooms like when drying yourself for example. By emphasizing spaciousness, it means two people can be in the room at the same time and not impinge upon each other."

The master ensuite continues the idea of openness architecture, daylighting, glass, home, house, interior design, real estate, window, gray
The master ensuite continues the idea of openness by blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors.

The bathroom's tangible size is balanced by the visual space that has been created through the minimal design and expansive glass. This has been tempered with the shower surround, which features black ceramic tiles.

"From a visual standpoint, the shower surround delineates the bathroom's wet area from the dry. In a real sense as well, that area creates a sense of closeness in an otherwise open space," says Lane.

Jun 08, 2007

Credit list

Portuguese limestone
Vaio by Kaldewai
Moleanos limestone
Philippe Starck 2
Faucets and shower fittings
Bacino by Duravit
Shower enclosure
Cinca black ceramic wall tiles
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