Maxwell McKenzie

Applauding its “strong use of materials” and “very sculptural, very quiet” presence, the judges chose this entry as the only winner in the bathroom category. “We wanted it to feel like a little rain forest,” said designer and contractor Jonas Carnemark. The vanity, for instance, has a 6-inch concrete top and a cabinet made of ipé, a renewable rain forest wood. Clerestory windows ensure privacy yet bring in light reminiscent of sun rays through the trees. The curbless shower has two showerheads and an open glass panel, but no doors to open or thresholds to step over.

Great care was taken to perfectly align the floor finishes. For example, the large-format flamed-impala granite of the shower floor is thicker than the bamboo flooring outside it, so plywood was used to bridge the difference. A stainless steel strip secures the grout on the tile side while allowing the bamboo to expand and contract on the other. The floor is slightly raked toward the gutter drain, and the concrete shower “cube seat” is subtly raked as well.

Other sophisticated elements include bright blue porcelain vessel sinks, a private toilet concealed behind a shoji door, and a large linen closet tucked behind a shoji screen pocket door. Tiny but powerful halogen spotlights are discretely mounted on the high, pyramid-shaped ceiling.

Maxwell McKenzie

Category: Bathroom remodeling, $50,000 to $100,000


Washington, D.C.


Jonas Carnemark, Carnemark Systems + Design, Bethesda, Md.


Jonas Carnemark, Carnemark Systems + Design

Maxwell McKenzie