The master-mason initially gave us some serious stink-eye when we asked to cast sheets of acrylic into this board-formed concrete wall, but was immensely proud when it worked. During the day, the entry powder room comes alive with bold strips of natural light. At night, though, the concrete suddenly glows, illuminating the path towards the entryway.
This 27 sq ft powder room is by far the smallest space in this 3,200 square foot home. The powder room sits behind a board-formed concrete wall next to the front door. In conjunction with our structural engineer and a master-mason, we developed a way to embed planks of acrylic into the south-facing concrete wall. During the day, the acrylic captures the intense sun (while the concrete keeps the space temperate), creating a vibrant and entirely unexpected light show when one opens the powder room door. From the outside, the acrylic planks appear simply as dark striations in the concrete. At night, though, a timed light inside the bathroom illuminates the backside of the wall and creates an intriguing glowing nightlight at the front door.
The constraints of board-formed concrete and the sequencing of this type of construction determined a pattern that could keep the material integrity of the concrete while also pushing its limits. In addition, the requirements for the vertical members of rebar created a staggered pattern that suggests movement –a theme that we carried throughout the project. After several experimental concrete pours, the final detail turned a typical powder room into a design feature that pushes the limits of material and construction and jolts our preconceptions of what lies behind a simple bathroom door. The wall appears to transform from solid to penetrable; from tame to wild; from utilitarian to spectacle; from dark to light-filled and poetic. Please contact us for more detailed information.