Bathrooms $30,000 to $50,000

Gold Award

Team Entry: Architectural Resource, Ann Arbor, Mich. & Meadowlark Builders, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Project location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sq. ft. before: 43
Sq. ft. after: 108
Project cost: $34,000

As part of a whole-house remodel, Architectural Resources’ clients desired a new master bath that was to be located in the new addition portion of the home. Since the homeowners were on a super tight budget, the architect and contractor had to do everything they could to shrink square footage, so this bathroom needed to get on board with that approach as well. The homeowners did not want the typical grand “showplace” master bathroom. They wanted to address their specific needs but also wanted to have some fun and push the envelope a little bit, as well as incorporate green features wherever possible.

One of the more exciting challenges of the home was incorporating many of Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big design philosophies: the notion of building for how someone really lives. The clients were well traveled and had experienced the Japanese Uforo soaking tub and so wanted to include that experience in their new bathroom if possible. They also wanted to both be able to shower simultaneously, have a compartmented toilet and dual-use sink. The challenge was how to accomplish all of this in the limited square footage that the cost-constrained building envelope allowed and yet still have the space feel expansive.

The solution involved turning the entire bathroom floor into a Walker Zanger pebble stone tiled shower pan, eliminating walls and blurring the edges between the different functions in the bathroom. One judge mentioned that he thought the use of the stone floor worked well on this project.

The only partition that was included is of 3Form material that sprung from the shower bench forming a back rest and providing a translucent light admitting screen enclosing the toilet alcove. However, even this partition was made as “non wall” as possible with the adjacent sliding pocket door simply extending to meet the 3Form screen wall without the use of a strike jamb.

The custom stainless steel Uforo tub was placed in the corner of the room maximizing the open floor area and providing a visually striking focal point as one enters the room. The sculptural form of the tub was expressed by pressing beyond the face of the clipped corner deck. A laminar flow tub fill spout was placed on the ceiling plane to keep to the sculptural form of the tub.

The vanity cabinet allowed for dual use in a compact space-saving approach by virtue of a linear “trough” sink. The counterop and shower seat were fashioned from recycled paper with a green product called PaperStone. The overall ensemble created maximum use in minimal space with a Zen-like feeling.

Specified Products

Stone flooring: Walker Zanger
Shower translucent wall: 3Form
Shower exterior walls: Soterra Stone
Tub: Uforo
Countertop and shower seat: PaperStone

Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, Minneapolis, Minn.

Morris Builders, Inc., Rockford, Mich.

Honorable mention
Urban Designer Kitchens, Houston, Tex.