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Using glass in novel ways has transformed the look and functionality of this bathroom

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With its watery, translucent look, glass has long been a favourite material for bathrooms. But today it is being used in new and innovative ways. As well as adding a strong design element to a bathroom, it can also lighten a room and make it appear more spacious.

The bathroom featured on these pages highlights a variety of ways glass can be incorporated. The owner, who planned the room from an initial design concept by architect Brent Hulena, says she was influenced by the sleek, minimalist look of commercial design projects and the desire to lighten a formerly dark space.

"As this is a downstairs bathroom – for the teenagers in the family – it was important to introduce plenty of light," she says. "Using glass not only helps achieve this, it also reflects the colour of the pool outside."

The new room replaces an old bathroom that was raised a step above the ground floor. This room was completely gutted and structural alterations made to accommodate the new room.

Back-painted glass lines the walls around the bath tub, below sill level. A thick slab of glass also forms the bath surround, its translucent quality adding to the watery feel. The vanity unit has a glass top and splashback, similar to the walls.

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Translucent glass also features on the other side of the room, where it forms a wall and a door that separate the toilet and shower. As well as allowing light into these areas, it provides privacy.

To contrast the sheen of the glass, American walnut veneer was specified for the cabinetry – a material also featured in a new kitchen on the same floor. The cabinetry's cantilevered position helps create a spacious look – as does the large mirror. Concealed storage cabinets are built into the mirror on both sides. Plumbing is also concealed behind a false wall below the cabinet.

First published date: 23 August 2004

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Credit List

Concept architect Brent Hulena, Hulena Co Architects (Auckland)
Designers Owner and Jen Pack
Vanity cabinetry Lindon Harris of Johannes Erren Cabinetmakers
Basins Duravit and Philippe Starck from LG Carder
Bath Bamberger from LG Carder
Taps Vola from LG Carder
Solid glass around bath and basin Euroglass Systems
Window treatments Papakura Joinery
Hot water systems Rinnai Infinity Natural Gas
Flooring Hinuera stone from Firth, laid by Davidson Bricklayers
Backpainted glass panels Euroglass Systems
Lighting Halogen from ECC
Ventilation Manrose from LG Carder
Toilet Duravit from LG Carder
Heated towel rail DCS from LG Carder
Door knobs Halliday & Baillie
Waterproofing Wet-Seal NZ