‘Really cool’ Japanese-inspired sunken bath project up for gong

PUBLISHED: 17:30 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:30 09 December 2016

The glass box extension allows the bather to enjoy the garden surroundings, whilst larch cladding allows for privacy

The glass box extension allows the bather to enjoy the garden surroundings, whilst larch cladding allows for privacy


A Clapton home with a glazed extension featuring a sunken bath inspired by bathing rituals from Japan has been shortlisted for an award

As part of the ritual hot bath you shower separately beforehandAs part of the ritual hot bath you shower separately beforehand

A Clapton home extension that features a sunken Japanese bath has been shortlisted for the 2017 “Improve, Don’t Move” award.

The project was commissioned by Pete Biggs and his partner, who wanted to combine their need for extra space in their basement flat with their passion for Japanese culture and aesthetics.

Gary Tynan of Studio 304 Architecture oversaw the refurbishment, creating a glass box around the sunken bathing area along with redesigning the kitchen.

“My partner and I are keen cyclists, and there’s nothing better than a hot bath after a freezing winter bike ride,” said Mr Biggs.

The materials were chosen according to Japanese philosophy of aestheticsThe materials were chosen according to Japanese philosophy of aesthetics

The bathroom is designed with a separate shower for use before entering the bath. “The process isn’t about cleansing, it’s about relaxation and ritual,” he explained.

A 300-litre water heating system had to be installed in the cellar in order to heat the water to 40C and fill the sunken bath quickly.

Larch cladding on the side of the building extends over the glass box, providing privacy without blocking the natural light.

Japanese philosophy and aesthetics informed the choices of lighting and materials used for the bathroom. The light is kept low against the dark concrete surfaces and the gold fittings will purposefully develop a patina as they age.

“The part you’re repeatedly touching will become more polished as the rest dulls. You can read your life through that,” said Mr Tynan.

“I was lucky to work with Pete and his partner because they wanted something really unusual. The project was a success because they had an interesting brief and were committed to it.”

“There’s a jaw-drop moment when you see it for the first time,” said Mr Biggs. “All our friends think it’s ridiculously cool.”

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