Tropical showers

Natural materials with a modern design edge bring a sense of the Balinese lifestyle to this apartment complex
The vanity unit of this natural bathroom bathroom, ceiling, countertop, interior design, room, black, brown
The vanity unit of this natural bathroom

Stimulating the senses is a shortcut to re-creating the ambiance of a foreign culture in your home. Play on one sense and the reference will be subtle, play on more than one and the sense of relocation can be dramatic.

In the design of this Balinese-style apartment complex, the architects left no stone unturned in bringing a sense of the tropics to the residents.

The brief for the indoor and outdoor bathrooms was to create a tropical Balinese design that was earthy but with a modern edge, says Lynn Ooi of Ong & Ong Architects.

"To achieve this feel, natural materials were used that would bring a Balinese flavor to the spaces through sight and touch," says Ooi. "Pebble dash, slate, granite, sea shells and terrazzo were chosen."

Working with naturalmaterials can be time consuming, and creating the bathtubs in these rooms was no exception.

Viewing the bathtub area architecture, bathroom, floor, interior design, room, tile, wall, window, black
Viewing the bathtub area

"They were created in situ by mixing custom terrazzo, a white base with a white marble chip. When set, this was ground twice, polished twice and finally the edges were rounded for an ergonomic finish," says Ooi.

Several aspects of thebathrooms' design were addressed with natural materials. For example, single-directional wooden slats solve the important issues of humidity and privacy. And instead of standard locks, the rooms have sliding doors with traditional Balinese door catches to secure them.

As the walls are stone, a solution was required for introducing plumbing unobtrusively.

"The showers had to stand independently as the shower head could not be embedded within the stone," says Ooi.

The solution was to create a shower stand that also serves to provide shelving space.

A shower in a natural situation bathroom, plumbing fixture, room, wall, window, black, gray
A shower in a natural situation

Touches of modern design attributes give the bathrooms a contemporary functionality.

"Most of the fittings are stainless steel finished. They were chosen both for their practical, long-lasting utility and to provide a modern edge," Ooi says.

Lighting for the bathrooms was also important, particularly for the indoor spaces.

"The aim was to let in maximum natural light, with shell lights used as accent pieces," she says. "The challenge was achieving a pleasing ambiance and providing enough light for clear visibility."

Apr 24, 2003

Credit list

Ong & Ong Architects
Terrazzo sunken bathtub fabricated in situ
Slate wall tiles
Eurolux, seashell light fixtures supplied by owner
Shower fittings
Grohe, Zazzeri
Granite floor tiles
Toilet and bidet
Satellite stainless steel range
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