NKBA 2004 Design competition: Category 5: powder rooms

Imparting his trademark custom, contemporary style to this unique penthouse powder room, Fu-Tung Cheng of Cheng Design in Berkeley, CA created a unique, textural look for this award-winning space with the help of the firm's Milton Tong and Frank Lee.

"This penthouse loft benefits from the unique look of the powder room," contends Cheng. Indeed, the "glowing look" of the countertop is created with fused layers of what Cheng terms "slump" glass that total roughly a 3" thickness. Two parallel steel beams support it.

Cheng and his team then highlighted the countertop design with a customized, translucent, amber-colored sink vessel. "It is made from molded polyurethane, or rubber, with coral and smoothed-stone inlays hand-picked from the beaches of Culebra, Puerto Rico," explains Cheng. "A poured-in-place, concrete wall with a grounded ledge features a one-of-a-kind, shattered-glass face that backs both the countertop and sink, completing the visual triangle."

To highlight the vanity, "a deep sky well punctures the ceiling above the sink, providing an indirect, natural light wash," he notes. "A fluorescent tube illuminates the glass top from below, creating the ephemeral, ice block look that becomes the centerpiece."

Cheng's skill with concrete is further seen in the powder room's floor. "The textural floor is ground concrete with exposed, semi-precious stones like turquoise and lapis," he explains.

Paneled, sandblasted, mirrored glass creates a "diaphanous" wall adjacent to the sink, while bisque-colored Venetian plaster coats the ceiling and remaining powder room walls.

A custom stainless steel toilet paper holder and towel bar, along with an Acorn toilet, completes the look.