Tom Bonner

Blurring the interior/exterior boundary is a priority for Santa Barbara, Calif.-based architect David Hertz. In this master bath he took that approach literally. Wavy glass block gives soakers in the sunken tub an eye-level view of the adjacent bamboo garden. “I'm not usually a fan of glass block,” admits Hertz, “but this commercial variety created a translucent surface with a little more texture than regular glass. It gives the bamboo an interesting silhouette during the day and becomes an illuminated object at night.” A pre-cast lightweight concrete tub was dropped into the home's crawlspace and waterproofed before the glass blocks were siliconed into place. The 9-foot-wide, 8-foot-tall glass section turns the corner to provide partial separation between tub and master bedroom. A pre-cast slab stands opposite the divider completing a three-sided enclosure. The diaphanous surround makes bathers feel secure but not claustrophobic. An operable steel window tops the block wall to let in fresh air.