A New Spin on an Old Classic

Cape Cod Home  /  Early Summer 2020 / ,

Writer: Elizabeth Shaw

Sudbury Design Group took a unique approach to a Cape Cod favorite in Chatham.

There’s something so quintessentially Cape Cod about an outdoor shower. It’s perfect for leaving the beach after a long (or not long enough) day, not wanting to go inside quite yet and looking to extend your time in the precious summer sun. It awakens and satisfies some deep-rooted need to be within nature. Just because you’re not at the beach doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sun and water.

Sudbury Design Group (SDG) went above and beyond to create a unique outdoor shower experience with this design in Chatham that allows the homeowners and guests to embrace the natural beauty of their surroundings. When the homeowners approached SDG about designing an outdoor shower, they went into the project completely open-minded. They just had one requirement: that it be unique. So Mike Coutu, owner of SDG, and his team created this masterpiece. “They were looking for something unique, and they were very open to creative suggestions,” he says. The shower was designed to go with an outdoor bathroom on the property that, paired with the outdoor kitchen and sitting room, allows the homeowners to soak up every last bit of that Cape Cod summer sun. This outdoor shower was built into a hill, which allowed for the creative spiral staircase design that sets it apart from other outdoor showers.  The spiral stone staircase leads down into an open shower, with two showerheads for the ultimate outdoor shower. “It’s open above so you can see the sky, but you’re still afforded privacy,” says Coutu.

The shower, an outstanding structural piece by itself, was designed to blend in with the surrounding property. “We wanted to make it feel like it grew out of the hillside,” Coutu explains. From the materials to the shape itself, this shower embraces and enhances its natural surroundings. Stone tiling adds a luxe, but natural feel to the project, while the surrounding hydrangeas make it unmistakably a Cape Cod feature.

SDG went a step farther with the design by creating a spiral reminiscent of the Golden Ratio and the subsequent Golden Spiral. The golden ratio is a naturally reoccurring ratio of 1:1.61 found throughout nature and has been used in math, art and architecture for centuries since its discovery. It’s believed to have been used in the construction of the Great Pyramids, the iconic columns of Greek and Roman forums, and the Taj Mahal. The ratio ensures balance and harmony throughout a design. The most common illustration of the Golden Ratio is the Golden Spiral. This balanced spiral pattern occurs throughout nature from shells, to plants to galaxies and now, an outdoor shower. Much like the spiral of the nautilus that this shower brings to mind, it seamlessly blends uniquely crafted architecture with a peaceful sense of playfulness. It’s both inviting and awe-inspiring. “It’s very natural, very organic,” says Coutu of the charm of the outdoor shower. With this design, Sudbury Design Group proves that nature is always the best inspiration. 

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Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is a former assistant editor, photographer & videographer for Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Elizabeth spent many summers on the Cape, before she and her family moved down full time in 2016. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island as a double major in Writing & Rhetoric and Film Media, and started at Cape Cod Life the following fall. In her free time, she takes as many pictures of her dog, Watson, as possible, in between beach trips.