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Ritual bathing: Sunken Bath by Studio 304

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AJ Specification case study: Studio 304’s project adds a kitchen, dining area, toilet and bathroom to a ground-floor flat. Photography by Radu Palicica


Studio 304’s Sunken Bath project adds a new kitchen, dining area, toilet and bathroom to a ground-floor apartment within a terraced period property. Central to the brief was to separate the toilet and shower room in order to create a standalone bathroom that would facilitate ritual bathing.

The functions of the new bathroom are separated and placed against the east façade, allowing each area to have a view of the garden and benefit from natural light. Outside, the east façade is partly clad with larch slats to maximise the garden aspect while also ensuring privacy. Incorporating a sunken bath, the glass-walled bath enclosure extends into the garden, allowing light into the adjacent bedroom window. A slatted larch screen covers the bathroom’s glass roof, again ensuring privacy from neighbouring windows. Granite gravel, polished concrete and bamboo complete the garden, creating a concealed, peaceful space.

Inside, a copper worktop and wall surround in the kitchen are intended to give a sense of warmth to the living space. Larch slats charred using the ancient Japanese Shou Sugi Ban method are used to conceal the extract system and appliance storage space. Polished concrete flooring runs from inside to outside at the rear of the apartment, creating a new relationship with the garden.

The materials used on the project were chosen to age well over time. The larch slats used extensively in the gardens will weather to a silver-grey, while the copper used in the kitchen and dining space is intended to develop a patina with use.

Surfaces in the bathroom, shower room and toilet are coated with micro-cement, ensuring seamless waterproof junctions and allowing the installation of integrated washbasins in addition to the bath.

The larch slats internally and externally are used to provide privacy but also to conceal hidden services such as lights and extract systems. Those over the windows are designed also to be removable to allow access to clean the glass.

Gary Tynan, director, Studio 304

Sunken bath dining table

Sunken bath dining table

Project data

Gross internal floor area 25m2
Construction cost £80,000
Architect Gary Tynan, Studio 304
Client Private
Structural engineer James Frith
Approved building inspector NHBC 
Main contractor Kensington Green
Glass specialist Culmax
Microcement Veneziano Polished Plaster
CAD software used Vectorworks


Glass Culmax
Micro-cement Veneziano Polished Plaster
Sanitaryware Tapwell.se 
Larch slats Vincent Timber

Sunken bath detail section 1

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