Bathrooms: a shell-like space in Home of the Year 2013

This open-plan bathroom in the 2013 Home of the Year is a continuation of the fluid, shell-like overall design. Architect Gary Lawson describes how the bathroom can be both open and intimate.

The ensuite bathroom can be separated from the bedroom by a large sliding door. Photograph by Mark Smith.
The ensuite bathroom can be separated from the bedroom by a large sliding door. Photograph by Mark Smith.
Home of the Year 2013 bathroom. Photograph by Mark Smith.
A curvaceous continuation of the rest of the house: a big sliding door allows this bathroom to be open or completely closed off. Photograph by Mark Smith.


HOME This space is in the Home of the Year 2013. How does it relate to the home overall?
Gary Lawson, Stevens Lawson Architects The concept for the house was one of organic, shell-like forms connected by a fluid open-plan space. The bathroom is an intimate space within one of the shells.

HOME How did you select the materials?
Gary Lawson The hexagonal terracotta floor tiles have an earthy quality, and the bandsawn cedar walls bring the outside cladding in. The off-white mosaics create a calm feel in the wet areas – they reflect the light and can be moulded around curves.

HOME Why have the bathroom space open to the bedroom?
Gary Lawson The big sliding door enables the bathroom to be either totally open or closed off. The connected bathroom makes it feel like a holiday retreat, where one person in the bath can chat to the other on the bed.

HOME What makes you lavish attention on these small spaces?
Gary Lawson We try to dramatise daily life and like to create delight where you may not expect it. Bathing can be relaxing and rejuvenating. We all need more of that.

Design details

Decking Purple Heart hardwood timber with Sikkens clear polish.
Ceiling Western red cedar with Dryden Wood Oil finish.
Bath ‘Haven’ stone composite bath by Apaiser from Metrix.
Tapware By Vola from Metrix.
Shelving unit White tinted lacquer on western red cedar, designed by Sue Hillery, fabricated by David White Cabinets.

Related articles

Natural clarity

Designed to merge into its coastal environs, this island home utilises board and batten cedar cladding to create a gentle visual rhythm that moves gracefully between indoors and out.

Al fresco connection

Utilising the existing design language of a mid-century modern home in Remuera, Johnston Architects and Bespoke Interior Design set about redesigning a pool house and creating an outdoor room, resulting in a trio of interconnected areas spanning indoors and out.

Angle grinder

During a visit to Waiheke a decade or so ago, an architect was struck by a simple, refined sculpture and the way that its ad hoc form, created from a roll of corrugated iron, twisted down a hillside, creating and enclosing spaces.

A minimalist Herne Bay ‘city base’

On a prominent street corner in Grey Lynn bordering the heritage zone, this rectilinear addition presents a new and mostly closed face — a bold architectural statement that gives way to refined interior spaces.