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Designed as a private escape for the owners, this contemporary master suite seamlessly integrates the bathroom with the bedroom


Not all houses are designed to look outwards. Sometimes an internal focus is the ideal design solution, especially where there is a tropical climate.

This master suite is in a house in just such a location. To minimise the extreme heat, the house has a large internal courtyard, complete with interior pool and waterfall. But the internal focus doesn't end there – the master suite was also designed to provide a private haven.

Swiss architect Joh Holenstein merged the bedroom and bathroom to create one flowing, contemporary space that has more in common with a resort hotel than a traditional master suite.

To provide a degree of privacy and separation from the entry to the suite, Holenstein created a freestanding bamboo wall that wraps around the top of the bed to form a headboard. The bedroom is also large enough to accommodate a seating area, coffee table, office desk and a designer lounge chair and ottoman.

In the bathroom area, the pièce de résistance is a spa bath, which sits on a black granite plinth. Black granite also lines the shower and vanity walls and forms a cantilevered vanity.


"There is a visual uniformity with the materials used throughout house – the entire house appears to sit on a black granite plinth," says Holenstein.

The granite is contrasted by the wood wall that appears to flow into the bamboo floor, providing a warm, natural look.

"The interior is defined by clean lines and simplicity – there is no decoration purely for decor's sake," says Holenstein.

First published date: 11 May 2011

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Credit List

Architect Johannes Holenstein (Perth)
Builder Zayad Enterprises (Alor Setar, Malaysia)
Wood cabinetry Bamboo by Goh Cabinets
Bathtub Sovereign from Bina Sanitary
Basins Karnees
Tapware Hansgrohe
Lighting Seng Hup
Ventilation Boon Yong Ming; BYM Air Conditioning