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This airy master bathroom offers visual and material connections to its pristine alpine setting


A serene space that invites one to linger and contemplate is the design objective of many bathrooms. But when the project is in an alpine setting, with only a wall of double glazing between the bather and the wild outdoors, the results can be dramatic, as well.

This contemporary master bathroom forms part of a house nestled at the base of a mountain range and overlooking a river. The bold, modernist design is the work of architect Gary Todd, builder Glen Cayless and the owners, who led the vision. The landscaping beyond the windows is by Joe Nutting.

The house links to the mountain landscape through its shard-like, rocky profile and by the use of materials that intensify the look. These include shuttered concrete with a textural finish, and square Kerlite tiles from Italy, chosen for their resemblance to slabs of stone.

"The master bathroom also connects to the surroundings through material choices," says Todd. "Palissandro, a white Italian marble with onyx veining, is used on both the floors and walls. A wall of glass looks out to a garden and meandering stream, and the smooth marble surfaces link visually with the river stones and white pebbles outside. As the bathroom is set in a quiet rear corner of the home, privacy wasn't an issue here. Even the curvaceous tub looks as though it might have been hewn from the mountainside."

To avoid detracting from the outlook, the bathroom has a minimalist aesthetic, with invisible latches on the vanity and glass walls on the two-person shower enclosure. The understated, sculptural tub filler echoes the lines of the bath.


The glass walls also work to enhance the sense of spaciousness, as does cantilevering the his-and-hers vanity, says Todd.

"There are two ways to reach this bathroom from the bedroom, skirting the sides of a dressing room between the spaces. This arrangement also offers the advantage of an acoustic buffer."

Concealed lighting under the double vanity, together with LED star lights over the bath, offer subtle night-time illumination. Automatic roller blinds can be lowered to mitigate alpine glare during the day.

In-floor heating with full insulation to the floor, walls and ceiling, plus cross ventilation, ensures the bathroom is comfortable in both the heat of summer and the chill of snow in winter.

First published date: 31 March 2014

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Credit List

Architect Gary Todd ADNZ, Gary Todd Architecture
Interior design Owners; Gary Todd
Landscape design Joe Nutting, Southern Landmarx
Tiling I Bianchi Di Rex Palissandro
Bathroom vanity Lacquer gloss finish with quartz top
Basins Cielo Shui
Faucets Bolero
Shower fittings SpazioCasa Rettangolo with Remer showerhead
Shower enclosure Metro GlassTech
Bath Gioia
Lighting Lighthouse Dunedin
Blinds Luxaflex