Refurbishment of a ground floor flat in a period house, featuring a sunken bath extending into the garden, clever use of space and materials chosen to age well over time. 2017 Winner of New London Architecture’s Don’t Move, Improve! Award.
downstairs only (max visitors 6)
Studio 304, Gary Tynan,
Studio 304’s Sunken Bath Project adds a new kitchen, dining area, toilet and bathroom to a ground-floor apartment within a terraced period property. Central to the brief was to separate the toilet and shower room in order to create a standalone bathroom that would facilitate ritual bathing, inspired by Japanese bathing culture and aesthetics.
The functions of the new bathroom are separated and placed against the east façade, allowing each area to have a view of the garden and benefit from natural light. Outside, the east façade is partly clad with larch slats to maximise the garden aspect while also ensuring privacy. Incorporating a sunken bath, the glass-walled bath enclosure extends into the garden, allowing light into the adjacent bedroom window. A slatted larch screen covers the bathroom’s glass roof, again ensuring privacy from neighbouring windows. Granite gravel, polished concrete and bamboo complete the garden, creating a concealed, peaceful space.
Kitchen and dining area
Inside, a copper worktop and wall surround in the kitchen are intended to give a sense of warmth to the living space. Larch slats charred using the ancient Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique are used to conceal the extract system and appliance storage space. Polished concrete flooring runs from inside to outside at the rear of the apartment, creating a new relationship with the garden. A large skylight and bi-folding doors maximise natural light and create a deeper connection between the kitchen and the outside space. A large dining table and bench in walnut and steel with chairs in steel and cork by designer David Blair Ross provide a convivial area for socialising and dining with views out into the rear garden.
The materials used on the project were chosen to age well over time. The larch slats used extensively in the gardens are in the process of weathering to a silver-grey, while the copper used in the kitchen and dining space has developed a patina with use.
Surfaces in the bathroom, shower room and toilet are coated with micro-cement, ensuring seamless waterproof junctions and allowing the installation of integrated washbasins in addition to the bath.
The larch slats internally and externally are used to provide privacy but also to conceal hidden services such as lights and extract systems. Those over the windows are removable to allow access to clean the glass.