Luxury homeowners are getting new bath design inspiration from an old tradition--Turkish hammams, public bathhouses typical in Islamic countries that involve a gradual warming of the body in a heated environment, followed by an exfoliating body scrub.
Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Clarke says that roughly 50 homes currently for sale in the U.S. incorporate the word “hammam” in their listing description, according to real-estate listings website Zillow. Here are some examples of private residential hammams.
At Eighty Seven Park, a beachfront condominium in Miami Beach designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, Julia Capp and a team of designers at RDAI sought to replicate natural light with a wood-panel light fixture that allows some rays to seep into the space. In the room’s center is a hot stone plinth heated from the inside, with a small pipe that provides steam. There is also a freestanding bath and a body-scrub area with water jets that hang from the ceiling. Just off the room is a separate sauna and scrub area. Ms. Capp said the materials were inspired by the property’s proximity to the beach. Cost: About $1 million
Le Belvedere, a lavish Bel-Air mansion by developer Mohamed Hadid, features an elaborate, traditional hammam with a bathing pool, large swaths of blue-and-white marble tile and colorful light fixtures. Max Fowles-Pazdro, a Los Angeles-based investor who recently bought the property for $56 million, said he liked the concept of the hammam but felt that it looked a little “cheesy” in its current form. He plans to update the room and make it more contemporary with a more neutral palate. Mr. Hadid didn’t respond to a request for comment on the original cost. Cost: About $500,000 for the renovation only
In Palm Desert, Calif., designer Gordon Stein worked on a hammam for a local client who was building a new home in a Moroccan style, he said. He visited Morocco with his client a few times to do reconnaissance on all the materials, including the mosaic tiles for the floor and the base of the bathing pool, which were sourced from the country. The owner hired a team of 20 craftsmen from Morocco to go to California to work on the home project. They spent between five and six months on site. A jewel-like light fixture was handmade in brass using small handsaws. A fireplace is made of black Tadelakt, a plaster surface that is rammed, polished and treated with soap. Cost: $350,000 to $500,000.
At 111 Murray Street, a new residential skyscraper in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, designer David Rockwell said he looked to the hammam to bring something “a little bit unique” to the building’s amenity spaces. “I was intrigued by the fact that it’s a room you can spend a lot more time in than a sauna,” he said. “You’re decelerating from the speed of New York City into a more relaxing gear.” For the design, Rockwell Group incorporated black granite for the floors, mosaic-tile walls and thick white marble plinths for reclining. The plinths appear to float above the granite. Polished nickel-clad pipes hang from the ceiling over stone bowls to deliver water. The hammam was built offsite in Leverkusen, Germany, and will be shipped to the U.S. for the project. Cost: About $1.5 million.Read More