What transforms the run-of-the-mill bathroom into a calm, soothing retreat? As this arena of daily life continues to leap beyond basic function to sensory experience, relaxation is an emotion companies and designers continue to explore. To Christina Biasi-von Berg, principal of Biquadra Interior Architecture, bath furnishings that successfully capture relaxation “appear more hand-crafted or analog.” On the first day of ISH 2017, Biasi-von Berg offered a tour of the manufacturers she thinks are doing relaxation best.
Surfaces in the bathroom tend to fall in a small group of materials and finishings—however Alape plans to change that. The firm’s two new surfaces for select basins provide striking contrasts in both material and shine. Bicolor pairs two contrasts—black/white and matt/glossy—while Metallic Dark Iron, a newly developed enamel, recalls one of the basin’s earliest incarnations, the carved stone bowl. Alape’s Bicolor is the featured image of this article.
Pressure, coverage, distribution, water droplet size – how much do these factors have to do with a relaxing shower experience? Chances are you’ve had at least one shower that went terribly wrong…and realized…a lot. Phoenix Design took all of this criteria into account for Axor’s ShowerHeaven 1200/300, channeling the latest in shower technology. The dramatic four-jet shower experience – experience seems appropriate here, this is not your average shower – incorporates the company’s PowderRain technology and has two types of precision-shaped water drops. Every element of this shower is precision-designed, and the result transforms a mundane daily activity into a narrative on the beauty of water.
Check out the latest bathroom products via online exhibition site ArchiExpo.
An abundance of basin space was a priority at Flaminia Ceramic. The manufacturer’s new Bloom basin by Angeletti-Ruzza has generous geometric proportions. Meanwhile, a large oval-shaped basin is a curvaceous addition to the successful Bonola collection by Jasper Morrison.
Creativity brings relaxation for many, something designers well understand. For Antoniolupi, Paolo Ulian conceived a sculptural white Carrara marble washbasin with a three-dimensional pixelated surface which can be playfully customized. A play on destruction and creation, Pixels can be broken and removed for an entirely unique surface. The result is homage to both the digital age and the imprecise beauty of a crumbling marble sculpture.
In the living room, fabrics help define comfort. So why not in the bathroom? Using the latest upholstery technology, the Bettelux Oval Couture collection by Dominik Tesseraux for Bette features a free-standing bath and floor-standing washbasin in glazed titanium-steel that is then tightly wrapped in a woven fabric. The sturdy fabric, which can be removed and washed like an apron, is stain-, water-, mold-, and weather-resistant.
Despite defining and pursuing the relaxing bathroom experience in different ways, Biasi-von Berg says these companies all have one thing in common: “They avoid the mechanics—not that they aren’t there, but that you just can’t see them.”