Gym Dandy

BY DESIGN

January 23, 1994|By BETH SMITH

When architects Richard Luxenburg and Mike Ryan began designing a three-story, 4,100-square-foot addition to a home in Mount Washington, they knew the basement level was going to more than a catch-all storage area. Their clients, two doctors with children, wanted a high-tech, professional exercise room/spa, one which would give them a clear view of a nearby playroom when working out or relaxing in the hot tub.

Teaming up with interior designer Jun Villones and Dwight Griffith of Griffith-Brilhart Builders Inc., Mr. Luxenburg and Mr. Ryan carved out a contemporary space bounded by floor-to-ceiling glass. Tempered glass walls separate the playroom from the exercise room and encase a hot tub. Interior walls are covered in mirrored glass. A large window of glass block lodges comfortably in one exterior wall. Even the doors, hinged and locked with stainless-steel hardware, are made of glass.

"Glass is used because it not only opens up the space and visually expands it, but it also allows the owners to easily supervise their children in the nearby playroom," says Mr. Villones, who created the glass wall system and had it installed by Mirrors and More of Baltimore. "It is commercial tempered glass made to withstand bumps and hits. It won't shatter."

While the fitness equipment, including a multi-gym, a Liferower and a Lifecycle from Carolina Fitness, is geared to tough workouts, the custom-made whirlpool hot tub from Nespa of California is made for luxurious relaxation. Ensconced in black, gray, burgundy and cream marble, it is visually elegant. Four feet deep, it seats eight people and has its own heating and plumbing system.

The tub sits surrounded by mirrors and under a coffered, or recessed, ceiling, accented with cove lighting. To prevent the smell of chlorine from permeating other rooms of the house and to provide a safety barrier, the spa was separated from the exercise area by floor-to-ceiling tempered glass walls and a locked glass door. And for an extra touch of luxury, a control in the master bedroom can be turned on to heat the water in the spa so that it is just the right temperature when the owners arrive for a relaxing soak.

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