AN UR­BANE RE­TREAT

A sanc­tu­ary is found in a mod­est, mod­ernist apart­ment.

HOME Magazine NZ - - Corian - Ar­chi­tect Nat Cheshire and Ian Scott, Cheshire Ar­chi­tects Text Suzanne Dale Pho­tog­ra­phy Sam Hart­nett Lo­ca­tion Free­mans Bay, Auck­land Brief The ar­chi­tects sur­prised the own­ers with this jewel-like space

De­scribe the pro­ject in two sen­tences. NAT CHESHIRE I guess we wanted to move the bath­room away from an an­ti­sep­tic, sur­gi­cal ortho­doxy and to­ward a space more hu­mane

This is a dark and glam­orous refuge and a con­trast to the rest of the light, mod­ernist apart­ment. How did that idea orig­i­nate? The apart­ment is small, bright, its spa­ces in­ter­linked, roads on two sides, be­tween ur­ban and sub­ur­ban A sanc­tu­ary of dark, fra­grant material and pooled light seemed able to make a whole new world in­side that tiny world

What were the con­straints here? The en­tire bath­room and laun­dry is smaller than some toi­lets we have built Ian Scott is bril­liant at re­solv­ing tiny spa­ces and com­plex pro­grammes into quiet, el­e­gant places We have been do­ing this to­gether for years But it takes us time It’s hyper re­spon­sive to small, in­cre­men­tal ad­just­ment Jeremy and Cameron were very gen­er­ous in af­ford­ing us that time

Tell us how you used brass, mar­ble and wood to such great ef­fect? These are all ma­te­ri­als with in­tegrity, in­duc­ing of at­mo­spheric soft­ness They come from the earth – al­beit the zinc and cop­per in brass has been on a bit of a coital jour­ney since then They’re not syn­thetic, re­flec­tive, re­ject­ing of sight or touch like the glossy whites and pol­ished chrome of the an­ti­sep­tic norm Instead, they slowly ac­cu­mu­late the trace of our pres­ence and are en­riched by age We are naked and vul­ner­a­ble in our bath­rooms It seems right that their com­po­si­tion re­sponds to this, not to bleach

The basin has been cus­tom made. Why did you choose to make it out of brass? Arne Ja­cob­sen designed these exquisitely thin, sim­ple taps that we, Jeremy and Cameron love In my own home, we ob­served that in raw brass they ac­cu­mu­lated a beau­ti­ful patina over years of use It seemed ap­pro­pri­ate that this be met and mir­rored by the ves­sel that water is poured into

This is a very cave-like space. How have you used light­ing? We hoped to make a space that was spa-like in its peace­ful­ness We placed lights so they would stroke lightly the tiny ridges of wood grain on the walls, or set the brass glow­ing in its dark frame of oak Then we left the spa­ces in be­tween to a kind of chiaroscuro

Basin Cus­tom designed by Cheshire Ar­chi­tects Lightswitch Thom Shower head Vola ceil­ing-mounted round shower head in nat­u­ral brass Tap­ware Arne Ja­cob­sen for Vola from Metrix WC ‘Aca­cia’ by Amer­i­can Stan­dard from Robert­son

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