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A bath perched on the edge of a hill proved to be an ideal spot for a private soak

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Privacy is often at the forefront of people's minds when designing a bathroom. But faced with an expansive view over a valley and out to sea, high above its neighbours, it would have seemed wrong to cloister this bathroom away behind shuttered windows.

This bathroom is part of a private resort on a tropical island, built by five friends as a holiday getaway for their family and friends. David Clarke, director of Map Architecture and Planning, and one of the five owners, said most people who visit aren't too concerned about the openness of the room.

"I really wanted to open up the bathroom to the views, and it's designed in such a way that you feel like you could never be seen."

This terrazzo bath is large at around 1.5m2, designed for ultimate relaxation and luxury. The stone was dyed black to reflect the surroundings.

"We decided black is more zen and a little less bright than the usual white people often choose. It complements the backdrop of chrome and wood."

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The bath has a rain head shower rose above, as well as a hand-held shower. It's surrounded by operable windows which can be thrown open for ventilation or to get a better look at the expansive view. If privacy is required, however, the bath can be closed off with a combination of shutters and blinds.

Adjoining the bedroom and the bath is a series of additional rooms, each with a different bathing function.

"I thought it was a great opportunity to create different venues within a bathroom," Clarke says.

"Everything is separated, so you can get candles lined up all around the bath, and create an atmosphere in there, while still having other rooms available for different uses."

As well as the shower facilities in the bath, there's also an additional indoor and an outdoor shower.

The indoor shower, included for practicality, is air-conditioned but also opens up to an outdoor terrace to maintain a sense of connection to nature.

Cleft sandstone is used on the walls of the shower and toilet rooms. The honey-coloured Thai sandstone has enough natural markings to show that it's a natural product, but not too many that it becomes busy.

The floors of both showers are made from plantation teak arranged in a crisscross pattern, and the water drains out into a tray underneath.

"I wanted to get away from the idea of standing on tiles. Wood is much softer, and it means you're not standing in a big puddle," Clarke says.

Further practicalities are the inclusion of his and hers vanities. Designed to function like furniture, they have grandly proportioned teak counters and simple porcelain bowls. Clarke also designed them as a place to store towels, rather than using a towel rack.

First published date: 20 June 2006

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Credit List

Architect/interior designer Map Architecture and Planning, HKIA, RAIA, AIA, RIBA (Hong Kong)
Builder Clayton Simms, SWR Construction
Flooring Sandstone from Korat with honed finish
Wallcoverings Jotun
Tiles L-Thai
Vanity cabinetry Reclaimed old teak wood counters from Prae, North Thailand
Shower fittings and taps Paini
Bath Terrazzo, SWR Construction
Basin American Standard
Hot water systems Steible