O.novo Vita washbasin by Villeroy & Boch

Barrier-free elegance

In the form of the ViCare product family Villeroy & Boch has added smart details to the function and design of accessible bathrooms.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 10/14/2020

“We take a holistic approach,” says Kai Spandau, Product Manager Prefabrication & Installation Systems at Villeroy & Boch. Functionality, comfort and elegance go hand in hand in these products designed for a generational bathroom. The product range of the sanitary ceramic specialist includes the ViCare Collection, which sets new standards in accessible bathroom design: From the installation technology via the washstand and the toilet through to the robust aluminum handrail with the series O.novo Vita und Architectura Vita, ViCare offers all the services and products that you could wish for in a bathroom designed for the future. And what is decisive: You don’t immediately notice that these products are intended for an accessible bathroom. “What is really important for ViCare is that the design is not stigmatizing but is rather of a high aesthetic standard,” says Kai Spandau. Although the function is immediately apparent there is nothing that makes you think of a typical bathroom for people with special needs. Instead, the handles on the washbasin of O.novo Vita are neatly tucked away and can also double as towel racks. In the Architectura Vita series there are also extended wall-mounted toilets, whose extra length is barely noticeable thanks to the curved design. Their design makes it easier for persons with mobility restrictions say to move from an wheelchair. Moreover, special buffers prevent the seat from slipping sideways.

Smart and attractive

Prior to working at Villeroy & Boch Kai Spandau spent many years as procurement manager for a group of care homes and his insights have informed the design of the products; indeed, the design is tailored to the requirements of people in need of care down to the last details. Aside from white toilet seats there is also a version in blue, which facilitates orientation in the bathroom for people suffering from dementia. The ViCare accessories offer further smart and attractively designed aids: from the powder-coated aluminum grab rails and hinged handles that can also accommodate a toilet roll holder through to a safe shower handrail. All the elements also meet the EU guideline CE EWG 93/42 for medical products. Here, too, the attractive design is continued in the details: According to Kai Spandau the handrail system has only 50 percent of the seams that other comparable products have. Add to this a charming selection of seating options in the shower from the classic bathroom stool to a folding seat. And they are not only beneficial for persons with restricted mobility: A seat ensures better balance when shaving legs or useful support when showering a young child.

The greater hygiene standards necessitated by the pandemic can also be easily met with the ViCare series by Villeroy&Boch: All products made of ceramic such as the washstand and toilets are available with the special easy-clean CeramicPlus surface finish, which prevents dirt adhesion. Selected models come with the anti-bacterial glaze AntiBac, which relies on silver ions to reduce the growth of bacteria on ceramic surfaces and toilet seats by over 99.9 percent. The rimless toilet models come with DirectFlush technology enabling an especially fast and thorough cleaning of the toilet. As regards the operating panel it is worth taking a look at the sensor-controlled version ProActive+ from the ViConnect series: Flushing is automatically activated touch-free and also saves resources since it recognizes whether a large or small amount of water is needed. And when designing the shower seats special care was taken to ensure that water can run off easily. “Our aim is to create a design that offers the best possible comfort in the bathroom,” says Kai Spandau.

In 60 seconds: O.novo Vita | Villeroy & Boch