Inspired by his clients’ travels to Turkey, architect Trevor Wallace creates an en suite bathroom that serves as a sanctuary in the home.
By Rachel Gallaher
Photographed by Riley Snelling
This serene bathroom, by Reflect Architecture, is designed with a layout inspired by hammams found in Turkey.
When Trevor Wallace, principal architect and founder of Toronto’s Reflect Architecture, first saw the third-floor bathroom his clients wanted to remodel, he knew it would be a challenge. The space was cramped, awkwardly shaped, and had a sloped roof to reconfigure. Oak floors, gold hardware, and a beige-tiled cubby shower felt neutral but dated. Wallace’s clients tasked him with a complete room transformation—they envisioned a relaxing space that would be a highlight to each day.
“The clients are well-traveled and have many memories from the culturally rich places they’ve been to,” Wallace says. “One of their favorite places is Turkey, and in particular Istanbul—this was an easy place to start when thinking about bathing rituals. Istanbul has some incredible hammams, particularly Kılıç Ali Paşa, which was an inspiration for this project. Common to many hammams, there are coves, arranged around a central element in which one is treated, cleaned, and ‘restored.’”
Using this layout as a guide, Wallace created a minimal, serene, and materials-forward space. Floor-to-ceiling marble balances rough oak cabinets and textured walls, which—inspired by earthen plasters found in arid climates—add warmth and softness. The oculus-like light in the center of ceiling is a nod to the glass in the hammam’s dome—the room’s four coves (each holds a different bespoke element: a walk-in shower, two vanities, a toilet, and cabinets) are positioned around it. Arched marble gables separate each area while adding a unique architectural shape to this interior space.
“We wanted the materials to feel like they come from the earth,” Wallace says. “Plaster-based wall covering, stone, rugged wood, and brass all felt honest and respectful to the origin of design inspiration. Honest materials, like good colors, always work well together. Allowing the materials their own masses gives each one a sense of reverence, place, and intention.”