Outdoor Showers

Text by Kyle Hoepner

The need for an al fresco site to conveniently sluice off salt, sand, and sweat is a surefire indicator that you are lucky enough to be spending time seaside . . . or in some other, equally fun, watery vacation spot. Utility alone, though, is never enough for the best designers on the Cape and the islands; they insist on mixing art with efficiency to make cleaning up a treat for both body and mind. Here are a few favorite bathing beauties our editors have come across recently.

Osterville, Cape Cod

Needed: an enclosure to camouflage three different functional elements of varying heights (trash bins, an air-conditioning condenser, and a shower). So why not turn it into a fetching latticework whale? This whimsical cetacean faces the water, so bathers can peer through its eye to catch views of the adjoining dining pergola and the bay beyond.
Architecture: John DaSilva, Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders, East Harwich, Massachusetts, psdab.com
Builder: Polhemus Savery DaSilva
Photography: Randall Perry

Falmouth, Cape Cod


Anchoring a pool area that overlooks the racing sailboats of Quissett Harbor, this shower is integrated into a unified architectural statement: the repeating brawny joists crowning the structure have the same width as the cedar boards of its walls and the forms that were used to create the marvelously rough concrete backdrop that shelters the space from the surrounding woods.
Architecture: Matt Schiffer, Hutker Architects, Falmouth, Massachusetts, hutkerarchitects.com
Builder: C.H. Newton Builders,West Falmouth, Massachusetts, chnewton.com
Photography: Brian Vanden Brink

North Shore, Nantucket

An older, open shower hidden away in a garden—created originally for previous owners—was badly in need of an update. And, as it happens, the property’s newresidents take their bathing seriously. So the tiny structure has been enclosed to house a Japanese-style soaking tub from Alaska, providing a snug sanctuary for contemplation of the fairytale landscape all about.
Architectural design: Stephen Theroux, Nantucket Architecture Group, Nantucket,
Massachusetts, nantucketarchitecture.com
Builder: Kyle D. Snell Builder, Nantucket, Massachusetts, (508) 228-6352
Landscape Architecture: Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, Washington, D.C., ovsla.com
Photography: Jeffrey Allen

Orleans, Cape Cod

An outdoor shower was on builder and homeowner Matt Cole’s list of must-haves from the very start, but its actual location was decided late in the game. In fact, the cozily sheltered design was suggested by landscape architect Jen Crawford, who tucked the shower—handily situated between a walk-out basement and the beckoning water beyond—into a nook formed by a fieldstone retaining wall and the home’s foundation.

Shower design: Jen Crawford, Jenick Studio, Mashpee, Massachusetts, jenickstudio.com
Builder: Matthew Cole, Cape Associates, Eastham, Massachusetts, capeassociates.com
Photography: Dan Cutrona

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