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Location: London

Architect: Paul McAneary Architects

Wood Supplier: Mundy Veneer Ltd

Wood Species: Teak

The Spathroom has been designed to be an aesthetic and peaceful sanctuary within a private residence of a Victorian house in London. Solid teak and veneer are the foundation of the Spathroom, the concept of which is Warm minimalism,drawing from the Japanese aspiration for simplicity, using pared-down design elements and taking influence from the culture of Zen Philosophy. This was combined with the design intent to maximise the benefits of using veneer and the least amount of solid teak, a sustainable use of the material to deliver the best performance.

Teak was chosen for its functional and aesthetic features; not only is it durable, hardwearing and easy to clean but its depth of warm colour calms the senses. The use of teak plays to the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, as a material that ages, but one which ages beautifully, minimising maintenance and aesthetically enhancing its surroundings over time. The Japanese design journey transports the user from the cacophony of functional life to the tranquillity of the sensual.

All four timber blocks used to create the bath, bath filler, washstand and WC unit, are made from a specialist marine ply core with a thick teak veneer and the bottoms of the baths and basin are slightly dished ensuring that all water drains away. The joints implemented within the spa bathroom are well proven to be watertight over time. Across the four blocks, seamless and mitred joints have been employed to achieve the “monolithic” appearance. All interfaces between the parts have been considered and designed in order to ensure robust build-up, dimensional stability, water tightness and therefore durability, avoiding future cracks.

Magnets are recessed and concealed under the veneer in the toilet lid and the teak fins above to keep the lid in place. Teak fins and back panelling are veneered to concurrently maximise and minimise the use of wood and so solid teak is only used where strictly necessary. The WC ceramic pan is concealed in a bench-like form, echoing ancient roman toilets. There is a concealed toilet brush box and discrete flush button to create a fully functional toilet without the accessories as well as a compact unit with flush with bench top. The WC/storage unit is designed with a shadow gap and an LED lighting strip along the bottom to give the appearance of floating.

The bath is an infinity bath, allowing water to overflow into the tray below and it is also double-ended so two people can use it at the same time. It has a combination of veneer and solid teak and has a bath filler designed to create a waterfall feature with water-sound relaxation therapy, to enhance the spa experience. The washstand is a combination of veneer and solid teak and designed as a teak block lifted on stones. A concealed storage under the basin and integrated niche on the hidden side conceals products. The control valves of bath filler, hand shower and shower head are hidden on the same side of the unit.

All walls in the bathroom are cladded with teak timber fins and uniform gaps absorb echo. Maintaining functionality, all timber fins can be removed for cleaning and to access windows. The fins in front of the windows create the effect of sunlight dappled through. These fins merge over the pivot door creating fluidity in ambiance. The teak has created a calming environment using sustainable natural materials. The Spathroom will only look and feel even better as it wears, taking its users on a journey through nature as it changes.

Further Sustainability Information: The client and architect are aware that the history of the problems surrounding the teak industry so they made sure that the teak was responsibly sourced.