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Des Moines, Iowa, Residence

Project Name

Des Moines, Iowa, Residence

Project Status



180 sq. feet

Construction Cost



  • Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture
  • Silent Rivers Construction
  • Cameron Campbell



Room or Space




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Project Description

2004 CHDA
Custom Bath / Merit Award

Projects that appear effortless are often the most challenging to create. Such was the case with this master bath remodel. It looks as if this graceful bathing object was simply placed in the middle of a room. Not the case. “It was very complicated to make this room look so deceptively simple,” says architect Paul Mankins. “The builder was able to shoehorn it all in so that when it was done it looked like they didn't do anything.”

Mankins credits builder Chaden Halfhill with pulling off challenging feats such as squeezing the plumbing into slim stainless steel columns that flank an open shower. Details like the perforated stainless trench drain connecting the columns add another level of artistry to the project's construction. Getting the slope of the granite shower floor at the angle that would drain water fast enough to prevent overflow yet not create a slip hazard was also tricky.

Besides being wowed by its elegance, the jury was impressed at how this Modern bath blends into a traditional setting. The owners painstakingly renovated their 1924 Craftsman in its original style, so the new room (which incorporates the existing bath, a closet, and sun porch) needed to look as if it had always been there. Both client and architect, however, wanted the overall effect to be stunningly different. Mankins conceived the idea of a “cool, dark, and flush foil for the warm, light, and highly textured house that contains it.”
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