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Pale gold wood and cream- coloured limestone bring light to this open-plan bathroom

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The spare simplicity of a Japanese haiku poem is a search for perfection in the imagery of words. Finding the simple beauty in the clean lines of stone and glass was the goal for architect Hal Walter in designing his own bathroom.

"I like to have a rich combination of a small number of materials, which I use throughout the house," says Walter. "The unpolished finish of the limestone has a lot of texture and is very warm."

Light and air flow throughout the home. Sliding glass walls, Walter's modern take on shoji screens, allow light through from the double-height living room, while full length sliding-glass doors open from the bathroom and bedroom onto the deck. Because the house is on a steep slope and the bathroom is on the top floor, privacy is not a problem.

Reinforcing the airy design is the freestanding wall between the bedroom and bath, which is open on both ends and has no doors. A translucent glass panel gives privacy to the toilet area, shielding it from the passageway. A similar panel on the shower door screens it from the toilet, while its other wall is clear glass facing the view outside.

Walter says the focal points of the bathroom are the sink and vanity. Sitting on two limestone pedestals, the American oak vanity seems to float in space, independent of the mirrored wall behind. The curved stainless steel sink is recessed beneath the limestone slab, which looks as though it could slide closed above the basin.

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"I liked the simple geometric curve of the basin related to the rectangular planes of stone and timber," he says. "There is a good contrast between the three raw materials."

Symmetry is an essential element of the design, inspired by the look of a traditional Asian resort.

"I was intrigued with establishing order within an open, flowing space," he says. "So I created a central axis running through the three areas. The two sides of the wardrobe and the shower and toilet are symmetrical. The vanity basin, the mirror and the bed are all centred on the axis. "

First published date: 02 July 2003

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Credit List

Architect Hal Walter Architect (Melbourne)
Builder NB & AL Renouf
Vanity cabinetry LT Nickson & Burke
Vanity tops Saturnia limestone from Classic Ceramic Importers
Window treatments Custom made by IND Window Fabrication
Shower rose Zucchetti
Shower taps Porcher Turquoise, supplied by Reece
Shower stall Regency
Bath Bette Form from Rogers Seller & Myhill
Basin Stainless steel fabricated by K-Staff
Taps Vola from DeDeCe Design
Flooring Saturnia limestone from Classic Ceramic Importers
Wallcoverings White-set plaster
Toilet Ideal Standard supplied by Parbury
Lighting Reggiani downlights supplied by Lampada Illuminazione
Ventilation Ductline Axial fan and damper