Contemporary bathroom insertion into heritage space

Modern box-like insertion with mirror exterior reflects heritage surroundings in renovation by Architect Prineas

For this master bathroom renovation project by Architect bathroom, floor, interior design, sink, white, gray
For this master bathroom renovation project by Architect Prineas, a contemporary, mirror-clad pod is inserted into a heritage space .

A heritage renovation comes with its own set of rules, not least the need to acknowledge and celebrate what’s gone before. A refit that effectively extends the period style is one way forward, while another option is to contrast the traditional with the strikingly contemporary.

When the team at Architect Prineas designed this master bathroom in an 1890s Grand Italianate terrace home, they took both approaches.

The brief was to create a modern ensuite and walk-in robe in the original two-bedroom space, while at the same time respecting the character of the terrace, says principal Eva-Marie Prineas.

“For example, the original fireplace was to be retained. Another requirement, typical of a heritage project, was the ability for the changes to be reversed so the room can be converted back into a bedroom in the future, if required.

“Practical requirements included two basins, a large shower and ample storage.”

For this master bathroom renovation project by Architect bathroom, floor, flooring, home, interior design, room, sink, white
For this master bathroom renovation project by Architect Prineas, a contemporary, mirror-clad pod is inserted into a heritage space .

To achieve all of the above, the team designed the bathroom as a central pod insertion clad in mirrors. The mirrored surfaces make the bathroom disappear to the eye, and also reflect and effectively double the period detail all around.

“The basin wall is completely mirrored so the fireplace behind is reflected and celebrated,” says Prineas.

All-new materials were selected for their ability to not detract from the original fabric – so the bathroom’s colour is provided by the original materials, including the floorboards.

A feature of the space is a large skylight that exactly fits the dimensions of the shower.

“The skylight includes a shaft that descends through the level above. This is chamfered, much like a funnel, to create natural light variance.”

The generous 2m x 2m pod contains both the toilet and shower. To keep the interior clean-lined and minimalist, tiles and grout lines were avoided – Laminam panels feature on the inside walls and the flooring is terrazzo.

​​​​​​​The shoes standing sentry on stools are the architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, house, interior design, wood, white
​​​​​​​The shoes standing sentry on stools are the only clue that this floating wall plane is really the door to a storage cabinet in the bathroom.

This clean, uncluttered design approach extends to the washbasins, which are resin and so have no visible joins. However, despite the visual simplicity of the design, there is a wealth of discreet storage. A row of mirror-fronted cabinets stretches right up to the top of the pod. There is also a mirror-fronted wardrobe on another side of the pod.

A shoe storage unit in the corner downplays its presence in another way. The handleless door was designed by Prineas to overlap the cabinet behind, creating the effect of a floating plane, rather than a door. This understated feature is backlit to accentuate its abstract quality.

“Together with the diffuse, natural light from the skylight, strategic concealed lighting accentuates the inserted element in another way,” says Prineas. “We stopped the pod’s walls short of the ceiling to highlight and at the same time protect that heritage feature, with powerful ventilation avoiding any issues of rising steam. The entire glass and mirror element is lit from above, showcasing its form at night.”

Credit list

Eva-Marie Prineas, Architect Prineas; design team,
Omvivo Neo700 wall basin by Reece
Shower fittings
Waterose Spin
Small Side inline by DeDeCe Sydney
Underfloor heating
Vanity cabinetry
Custom designed by Architect Prineas
Logic spout and mixers
Hydrotherm Milan heated towel rail by Reece
Bianco Collection by Laminam
Halliday Baillie
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – Winner – TIDA International Bathroom of the Year

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Chris Warnes

28 Aug, 2018

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