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The two symmetrical halves of this master bath meet along the tub and skylight's central axis


Creating a master bath for two people can be handled in different ways – one practical approach is to divide the space down the middle and celebrate the division by using reflective symmetry.

Landry Design Group was asked to create this master bath within an upscale, contemporary home. Project architect Marc Welch explains some of the reasonings and advantages behind the design.

"The clients wanted a master bath that continued the strong, minimalist feel of the house," says Welch. "They also wanted a his and her component to the bathroom and sense of escape or serenity."

Continuity with the rest of the home came partly through the bathroom's material palette of French limestone and European beech. Both materials feature throughout the home, including in other bathrooms.

The solid nature of the limestone lends itself to a balanced design. Punched-out display niches dramatically highlight the room's symmetry and also show off the depth of the stone. Elsewhere in the home riglets – small insets running along the bottom of the walls – give the architecture a deconstructed feel, as if the components weren't quite locked together. The master bathroom's ceiling also shows this architectural conceit which adds to the building block feel of the room.


"The limestone shower stall stands at the heart of the room and, with no doors and a skylight above, it has a feeling of freedom and airiness," Welch says. "The tub's custom broad surround doubles as a bench shelf for the shower when it is in use."

Together with the tub and skylight, the shower stall lies along the central axis of the room, with complementary sections off to the left and right.

"One side of the bathroom features a vanity, but, this element aside, the room is symmetrically composed," he says.

The parallel design makes the most of straight lines, but there are other repeated elements. The cabinetry and countertops are softly curved and the steam room also has curving seating.

"Symmetry of form extends to the individual toilet rooms to either side of the shower stall," says the architect. "In this bathroom even natural light is balanced – both toilet rooms have individual skylights, creating a serene glow when the beech-framed glass doors are closed during the day."

The bathroom stands roughly at the centre of this expansive master suite with the bedroom off to one side and a closet, gym, sauna and steam room on the other. These adjacent areas, the bedroom in particular, have quite a different feel to the bathroom, furthering its atmosphere of an individual, away-from-it-all space.

While the symmetry is bold, the room offers an underlying subtlety. Various lighting configurations and dimmers can change the mood of the room substantially at night.

"Even the unadorned look is achieved through attention to detail," says Welch. "The shower stall's floor is on a subtle backwards slope, and the shower water runs discreetly away down a concealed drain beneath the limestone bench seat."

First published date: 26 May 2006

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Credit List

Architect Richard Landry, Landry Design Group (Los Angeles, CA). Project architect – Marc Welch
Interior designer Everage Design
Builder Finton Associates
Bathtub Ameritec
Countertops Verde Dorado from Marble Unlimited
Cabinetry European beech in dark brown stain
Basin Glass from Alchemy
Faucets, shower fittings Kroin
Flooring Gascogne beige limestone
Wall finishes Benjamin Moore paint in Elephant Tusk
Lighting Eureka pendant lights
Bedroom furniture French Art Deco lounge chair from Anne Hauck Art Studio; French Art Deco Onyx Side Table and French Bronze d'Ore side table from Krista Everage Studio; lounge chairs and bedside tables from Baker, Knapp and Tubbs
Artworks ‘Untitled Still Life' by Hagop Hagopian, ‘Artist's Proof' by Frances Horbach
Bedding Frette
Fabrics Chair upholstery and headboard in Focus Resort in Ivory from J Robert Scott; Lavender coverlet and shams from Bergamo