By the water every day
The feeling of weightlessness: After a long day at the ISH, the international trade fair for HVAC and water, taking a nice full bath seems like a very welcome way to relax. The Japanese producer Toto knows this, and with its “Recline Comfort Technology” has given the bathtub an optimum relaxation position, oriented on the S-shaped curve of the spine. A head and foot rest provide additional ergonomic benefits. Meanwhile, at the Burgbad stand: the relaxing bathtub “Badu” by Thomas Gerig. The mineral cast basin gently holds the bather in position, affording them the possibility to fully unwind. At Laufen, visitors can try out the free-standing bathtub by Patricia Urquiola, which now complements the “Sonar” collection. Despite its slim design it offers ample space, and what’s more, it integrates an additional ledge for fittings. A head and back rest can optionally be added. The circle as the perfect shape was clearly part of the ISH’s graphic concept this year, and was ubiquitous – be it as a round bowl for accessories by Laufen, which can be attached to the “Sonar” tub edge, the washbowl “Aqua” by Alape, or the freestanding circular bathtub “Pond” by Tesseraux + Partner for Bette. Victoria + Albert also celebrate the circle in “Taizu” by Steve Leung.
More show than geometry appears to be the motto when it comes to showers: Dornbracht has extended the Aquamoon product family to include “Aquamoon ATT,” adding the fourth jet style “Embrace,” which envelops the entire body but not the head in water, to the existing choreography of lighting scenarios and soft scents. The individual scenarios are activated using a touch screen. What’s more, “Aquamoon ATT” can also be networked with other digital systems via an open, IP-based interface, allowing, for example, one’s favorite music to complement the atmosphere. With the digital system “RainTunes,” hansgrohe also offers scenarios for an individual shower experience made up of water, light, sound and scent. Seven options may be selected depending on one’s mood, from “Good Morning” to “Good Night.” Networking with further smart home systems including light and sound is possible, as is regulation via mobile control knobs with Bluetooth technology, which may be positioned as desired and used alongside a fixed control panel.
Digital and analog
There’s no need to spend a lot of time searching for the controls for water temperature or jet strength at the ISH. Indeed, with the return of the 1990s as a trend, we are seeing large-format thermostats return, too. For “Hi-Fi,” manufacturer Gessi even drew inspiration from the look of a compact music system, combining the function with generous shelf space. The counterpart is provided in the shape of compact temperature controls on the washbasin with colored LED light for the warm and cold water gauge, as in “Duravit D.1e” by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez. Cutting-edge technology is also hidden in the mirror, as in “Royal Lumos Light Mirror” by Keuco: From warm-white light in the evening to the cold-white morning version, the individual wellness atmosphere can be perfectly heightened using HCL-based illumination. The mirror heating and a sound system can be activated via the control panel. Favorite songs can then be played in the space from one’s smartphone via Bluetooth. And voice control is slowly but surely finding its way into the bathroom, too: Those who call an underfloor heating system using “Viega Fonterra Smart Control” their own can now combine it with the digital assistant “Amazon Alexa.”
The in-house spa remains entirely analog when it comes to accessories. In order to stop things from getting too multipartite on the shelves and so that the eye too can relax, the multitude of grooming products disappears into the ample storage space of washstands such as “Breccia” by Antonio Lupi. Classic pump containers and toothbrush holders continue to belong to the standard fitments – somewhat surprising in view of the simultaneous progress in digitization we are currently seeing. A charging point for an electric toothbrush is for the most part hard to come by, and outside of its envisaged use in the object section even the sensor-controlled soap dispenser remains a rarity. At ISH, a look into the future of the bathroom as a spa thus takes place between the ideas of the day after tomorrow and the day before yesterday, between advanced technology and established approaches.