Eyrie in the treetops

Cantilevering this new bathroom out from the upper floor has maximized a spectacular forest view
Story by: Colleen Hawkes Photography by: Benjamin Benschneider
View of exterior of house with cream weatherboards architecture, building, cottage, elevation, estate, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, siding, sky, window, black, teal
View of exterior of house with cream weatherboards and stairs leading to balcony.

There's no rule that says a bathroom must be tucked away in some private corner of a house. In fact, if you have a spectacular view and no immediate neighbors, why not make the most of the setting so you can enjoy the outlook from every room?

The original bathroom in this house, which overlooks a picturesque forest and river valley, was small and not positioned to maximize the view. Architect Nils Finne of Finne Architects came up with an ideal solution a 4ft-deep addition suspended from the top floor. Being cantilevered off existing beams meant there was no need for new foundations, which made it a less costly alternative to a traditional addition.

"It wasn't just the extra space that made this a radical transformation," the architect says. "The walls on all sides are glazed to create a continuous window, which makes the bathroom very dramatic. If the owners want privacy at night, there are hidden blinds integrated into slots at the top of the walls."

Not surprisingly, the freestanding bathtub is positioned to provide a view while bathing.

This home and kitchen was designed by Finne angle, architecture, area, design, diagram, drawing, elevation, floor plan, font, line, plan, product, product design, structure, text, white
This home and kitchen was designed by Finne Architects. The kitchen features wooden flooring, a wooden island, appliances, cabinetry, sinks, limestone countertops. Here is a view of the floor plan.

"The bathtub's curved form counters the rectilinear lines of the bathroom," says Finne. "Similarly a custom-designed bench seat also has sensuous curves."

The cantilevered vanity cabinetry echoes the maple cabinets that feature in the remodeled kitchen of the same house. A simple panel door design and the light color of the maple reinforce the light, airy feel of the room. And because the cabinet appears to float, there is no sense of space being compromised.

Suspended, custom-designed mirrors framed with LED lights hang in front of the windows, reflecting the light and view. Wood panels on the backs of the mirrors ensure they also look attractive from outside the house.

The use of natural, sustainable materials was a priority for the design team. Azul Adobe limestone was specified for the floor tiles and vanity top again this material also features in the kitchen.

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View of bathroom with wooden table and white tub.

Other raw materials that enhance the clean-lined contemporary look include an exposed structural steel column near the shower, and the sapele wood seat and blackened steel legs of the bench seat.

Glass panels separate the shower, but the floor tiles are flush for a seamless connection.

Mar 30, 2012

Credit list

Treebird Construction
Vanity cabinetry
Maple; fabricated by Baywood Cabinets
Sink faucets by California Faucets; tub faucet by Dornbracht
Shower tiles
Ann Sacks
Suspended mirrors
Steel frames with integral LED lighting; designed by Nils Finne; fabricated by Landbridge Lighting
VRI twisted steel towel bars; designed by Nils Finne; fabricated by 5-Star Metals
Structural engineer
Swenson Say Faget
Sinks and tub
Countertops and flooring
Azul Adobe limestone
Shower enclosure
Starphire low-iron glass
Recessed lighting
Sving bench; designed by Nils Finne; sapele wood top by Pete’s Cabinets; blackened steel base by 5-Star Metals
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