Mark English Architects designed this bathroom to explore everything beyond the realm of mere function and utility. It’s about “the bathing experience as an integral part of the private world of the bedroom,” Mark English says, including “comfort, sensuality, theater, and beauty.”

Part of a complete remodel of a master suite, the bathroom was, as the client calls it, a “malformed and mindless central core of a structure.” The architects gutted the original space, maintaining an existing small area for toilet and bidet but extending the room along an entire wall of the bedroom.

The client, a scientist with contemporary taste and the ability to think in three-dimensions, had specific requests for overlapping and orthogonal planes and for glass in different permutations. As a result, a thrown rope determined the curvature of the heated mosaic tile floor, and glass block walls with recessed mirrors create an interplay of light. “The mutable characteristics of light playing in iridescent glass tiles and cast glass blocks as well as in the water and wet surfaces inspires personal contemplation,” the architect says.

To help balance the shiny surfaces, the design team used curving oak veneer cabinets—coated with a varnish to resist moisture—and a Douglas fir structural post to add an organic quality. The toilet room floor is designed with a slab of salvaged bay laurel wood set into the tile.


Entrant/Architect: Mark English Architects, San Francisco; Builder: Amalfi Tile and Marble, San Francisco

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA.