Susanne Fritz

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Susanne Fritz
Zürich   Suiza

A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa


The bathroom is an environment which doesn't only adapt constantly to the changes dictated by design and fashion, but has also been revolutionised in a technical sense. For the Romans it was normal to get together in the communal 'thermae', but since then people have primly enclosed themselves in solitude in their private bathrooms, with the dressing room and dressing table located in a separate space. In the last century people's personal hygiene habits changed, thanks to the availability of hot and cold running water, while changes in social attitudes also introduced a more relaxed way of dealing with physical intimacy within the family. Different genders and generations can now spend time in the bathroom together and the result has been the family bathroom. These have not just become larger and more comfortable but have also been made technically more sophisticated in the course of the wellness movement. The whirlpool has been followed by integrated saunas, steam baths and experience showers.
 

Among the other new features at ISH 2011 we identified a number of themes as the central new trends for the bathroom. From a conceptual point of view the bathroom as a living space for the family is developing into a multi-generation bathroom and without detracting from their design principles manufacturers such as VitrA and HEWI have adapted their products in such a way that they can be used just as readily by children and by older people and those with a physical handicap.

As an alternative to traditional bathroom materials such as ceramics and chrome, Flaminia presented Pietraluce, Laufen launched a new silit ceramic material, Cosmic introduced VitTech and the marble–artificial stone mixture BathStone, and HEWI presented a type of plastic which looks like chrome.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
HEWI Range 805

As an alternative to traditional bathroom materials such as ceramics and chrome, Flaminia presented Pietraluce, Laufen launched a new silit ceramic material, Cosmic introduced VitTech and the marble–artificial stone mixture BathStone, and HEWI presented a type of plastic which looks like chrome.

In the past sanitary fixtures were generally mechanical, but now electronics is increasingly making its way into on the bathroom. Water temperatures can now be digitally set to exactly the right degree of heat, and the "comfort" toilets which are familiar from Japan with a bidet function, heated seat and on-board entertainment were a major topic for many manufacturers.
Electronic controls for installations offer advantages, such as settings which control the amount of water to be used (in the case of KWC) and obstacle free remote controls. LEDs are being used by many manufacturers both for basic lighting and for colourful special effects.

Sustainability was also a major influencing feature in the development and design of the new products which were on show, covering aspects such as the conservation of materials, the avoidance of substances which harm the environment, and saving energy and water.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Modular bathroom concept by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Axor

A new interpretation of the ever-present topic of the "living space/bathroom" has been developed for Axor by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, and for once this is happily no freestanding bathtub with a fireplace. Instead the designers took the development of bathroom furniture back to its origins, reflecting the fact that before running water became generally available the washstand was nothing more than a table with a jug of water and a basin. The mirrored bathroom cabinet has been reduced to the original mirror with cabinet. Attractive purism with little storage space, but instead topographically structured trays which can be used in line with functional and aesthetic preferences.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Axor presented topographically structured trays which can be used in line with functional and aesthetic preferences

TOTO presented its products on a generously-sized stand with a calm and clean-lined Japanese design. Here too, there were signs of the trend towards the modular bathroom. In its collection MH Modular Home offers three different bathroom worlds, each of which has a modular structure and, in addition to a variety of furnishing and storage elements, also contains a washstand, a bath tub, a shower, taps, a WC, a bidet and a washlet (a toilet with integrated bidet function) as well as accessories.
Very intelligent solutions: the installations for the taps and wash stand are elegantly hidden in a space behind slightly shortened drawers, which means that this equipment can be installed as required behind the furniture elements. This enables the positioning of the washstand and the furniture to be freely selected without the need to reposition the existing connections, a highly convenient feature when it comes to renovating the bathroom.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
In Toto's collection MH Modular Home offers three different bathroom worlds, each of which has a modular structure

The TOTO products contain a number of sustainable features: the toilets are fitted with a powerful but water-saving flushing system which is sprayed from three jets in a dynamic swirl, which means that 3 litres of water are often enough for flushing. The Aerial Shower and EcoCap are further water-saving technological features which are applied for showering and washing hands. Air is mixed with water and because the diameter of the individual water drops is enlarged, the person who is having the shower has the feeling that he or she is standing under much more water than is actually being used.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Whether in public or private rooms: The sensor-controlled faucets from TOTO – here with the Luminist series washbasin – offer the utmost in hygienic comfort, in combination with environmentally and maintenance-friendly technology

Among other products KWC, a leading manufacturer of bathroom fittings, presented its KWC SIN model, which is impressive thanks to a functional design with an industrial look. The shower attachment with its flexible highflex® hose enables a greater movement radius if required, and can turn through 360°. The shower head has an adjustment which makes it possible to switch with ease from a Neoperl® to a sieve water jet. The holder always returns to its original position and the shower head fixture can be swivelled out of the way.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
"ONO touch light pro" by KWC: the operating unit can now be detached from the faucet and positioned anywhere, according to your ergonomic and aesthetic preferences – firmly installed or fully detached with the additional wireless function

The KWC thermostat technology uses an intelligent mechanism to enable the precise adjustment of the required water temperature while regulating fluctuations in water pressure and temperature. The required water temperature is reached with precision within a very short time and is then held constant. The operation of the thermostats is intuitive. An important detail of the KWC thermostat is the insulated hot water pipe, which prevents the risk of scalding by contact with the fixture. Three further mechanisms provide protection against scolding from hot water – if there is an interruption in the supply of cold water the hot water is also turned off immediately.
Temperatures of about 38° C can only be selected after a safety button has been pressed. In addition fluctuations in pressure in the network are regulated so that the temperature remains constant even if the water supply is irregular.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
KWC SIN is impressive thanks to a functional design with an industrial look

The Italian firm of CEA ("Centro Energie Alternative", in English "Centre for alternative energies") specialises in the development of technical sanitary products. Their purist functional design demonstrates CEA's technical engineering approach and makes a strong impression with its simple aesthetics.

"Switch" is the name of a fixture which has reduced mechanical operations to their most basic element: "switch on, switch off". The clean lines and modern elegance of the design supplement the functionality, which has been reduced to an absolute minimum. The stainless steel fixtures are available in a polished or brushed finish.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
"Switch" is the name of a fixture by CEA which has reduced mechanical operations to their most basic element: "switch on, switch off".

The TWO ceiling fan is the result of a study by CEA based on the following criteria: low consumption, the greatest possible efficiency and performance, and flexible applications. TWO enables the retrofitting of rooms with air conditioning. The six blades of the fan are made of carbon and the built-in electronic system enables them to either cool or heat the room.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
The six blades of the TWO fan are made of carbon and the built-in electronic system enables them to either cool or heat the room

HEWI has designed the WARM TOUCH surface especially for patients with gout or rheumatic conditions who are sensitive to surfaces with a chrome finish. The products combine the visual look of high-gloss chrome surfaces with the tactile properties of polyamide, which feels less 'cold' because it has a lower heat penetration coefficient than chrome. Materials with a high heat penetration coefficient (e.g. metals) are perceived as being especially cold, while materials with a low heat penetration coefficient (e.g. insulating material or wood) are in contrast perceived as warmer. The material is pleasant to the touch and feels warm. In addition the high-quality coated polyamide with its chrome look is especially environmentally friendly because neither chromium III, nickel or copper is used and the products can be recycled.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Elegantly shaped: Laufen's ILBAGNOALESSI One

Laufen, too, has invested in developing a new material. Until now the tried-and-tested ceramics has been the ideal material for use in the bathroom because it is resistant to chemicals, hygienic and easy to clean. Laufen is now trying to eliminate the few remaining disadvantages with a new development. The new type of ceramics, a silit ceramic material, enables the formation of new shapes and for the most part removes the restrictions which have previously been imposed by the nature of the material. It enables more precise edges and large smooth surfaces. The technology enables edges with a radius of below 4 mm, whereas previously 6 mm and above was the best that could be achieved. In addition the new material is around 20-30% lighter than conventional ceramics. Because it is at the same time significantly stronger and resistant to flexural tension Laufen has achieved savings in weight of up to 40%, thanks to a thinner body and simplified design.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
The purist UPGRADE range (left) from the Spanish firm of Cosmic features its new "BathStone" material, which is made of a mixture of aluminium hydroxide, ground marble and synthetic resin

The purist UPGRADE bathtub range from the Spanish firm of Cosmic features its new "BathStone" material, which is made of a mixture of aluminium hydroxide, ground marble and synthetic resin. The material is robust, resistant to chemicals and hygienic.
A newly-developed material has also been used for INSIDE, a well thought-out combination of wash basin and floor unit which is as attractive as it is functional: VitTech is non-porous and therefore hygienic, while the surface is impervious and resistant to ageing.
The success of Cosmic can probably be attributed to its uniform, highly modern and stylistically consistent design, which appears in every aspect of its collections of bathroom furniture and accessories. In the year 2008 Cosmic entering into an alliance with Roca, which was able to extend its expertise in bathroom furniture and accessories as a result.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
INSIDE by Cosmic, a well thought-out combination of wash basin and floor unit which is as attractive as it is functional

Among other products Roca presented a new WC solution at ISH. In-Tank Meridian considerably reduces the building work required for the installation of a WC. A wall-mounted cistern is no longer necessary, because the system is placed directly in the WC itself. As a result In-Tank Meridian is very suitable for small bathrooms.
Equally space-saving and in addition very practical is Hide & Seat, the shower with an integrated seat which provides both comfort and space for storing bathroom utensils. A clever solution: there is a compartment for the splash zone and a drawer which is accessible from the outside.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
With In-Tank Meridian by Roca, a wall-mounted cistern is no longer necessary, because the system is placed directly in the WC itself

A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Hide & Seat by Roca is a shower with an integrated seat which provides both comfort and space for storing bathroom utensils

The Wanda bathtub by Antoniolupi has the shape of a comfortable wingback chair. The generous dimensions also make it possible for two people to enjoy a bath together. The PIPA washbasin also makes a strong impression as an object within the room. The design by Carlo Colombo is monolithic in the truest sense of the word in that it is shaped from a block of Carrara marble.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
The Wanda bathtub by Antoniolupi has the shape of a comfortable wingback chair

A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
The monolithic PIPA washbasin by Carlo Colombo is monolithic in the truest sense of the word in that it is shaped from a block of Carrara marble

The urinal is a formally difficult bathroom element, but Hidra has implemented this in a highly successful way with Drop. The high, narrow design is in addition very space-saving.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Drop's high, narrow design by Hidra is very space-saving.

Albero, the Italian word for "tree", is a shower installation designed by Massimiliano Abati for Flaminia. The shower column itself is formally reminiscent of a tree trunk and the operating elements are a rich green in colour. The shower tray consists of structured ceramic tiles which are available both in square and rectangular form. One or more trees can be placed as required on the grid of the shower tray.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Albero, the Italian word for "tree", is a shower installation designed by Massimiliano Abati for Flaminia

A wellness holiday without leaving the house: Hoesch enables this domestic spa experience with its multi-functional SenseSation steam bath with shower system. SenseSation is equipped with an MP3 player and a lighting package which includes a colour changing system. Operation is by means of sensor buttons integrated in an intelligent multi-functional panel.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
SenseSation steam bath with shower system by Hoesch

The Terra Maestricht modular tile programme by Royal Mosa covers a large selection of formats, colours, surfaces and accessories. Terra Maestricht is suited to both interior and exterior use and can be applied to walls, floors and facades. The tiles are pure ceramic, which makes them scratch-resistant, durable and frost proof.
Large square or rectangular floor tiles can be combined with medium-sized formats right down to mosaics stones. To light the way safely to the bathroom even in the dark there are patented Terra LED tiles, which are available in the same quality and sizes as the conventional Terra tiles.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
To light the way safely to the bathroom even in the dark there are patented Terra LED tiles

A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Mosa has revived a design classic from the Sixties: the ‘Kho Liang Ie Collection’. Gloss white tiles with a relief of circles, segments of circles, diagonals and triangles

A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Royal Mosa's Terra Maestricht tiles are suited to both interior and exterior use and can be applied to walls, floors and facades

The radiators produced by Ridea are individually designed and numbered. They consists entirely of recyclable materials (aluminium and copper) and are coated with sustainable paints. The RIDEA radiators guarantee the highest possible heat yield (according to the department for energy research at Milan Polytechnic) as well as remarkable energy savings which are created by the low level of water consumption and the low thermal inertia of the materials which are used. They also operate efficiently at low temperatures and are compatible with the use of either central heating boilers or solar panels. The patent system enables them to be opened even after they have been installed – just like a door. This simplifies maintenance operations and the cleaning of parts located at the back.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
The radiators produced by Ridea are individually designed and numbered. They consists entirely of recyclable materials (aluminium and copper) and are coated with sustainable paints

Warmth is also generated by the heating sculptures made by the firm of Cinier. The philosophy of Michel Cinier is that radiators are not to be treated like technical domestic equipment but as sculptural objects. A special feature is the material from which the radiators are handcrafted. The olycal stone, which comes from the Pyrenees, is ground and then formed into a paste at the workshop. The heating elements, which are made of copper pipes for the central heating models and of doubly-insulated special cables for the electric models, are placed into the mould and cast with the paste. Olycal stone has the advantage that it radiates heat efficiently even at low temperatures and therefore saves energy.
After a three-week drying period the radiators are patinated by hand with natural pigments and turned by artists into unique objects in the form of special editions.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
Cinier radiators are made of olycal stone, which comes from the Pyrenees, is ground and then formed into a paste at the workshop

However, it's not just radiators that can create cosy warmth in the bathroom. With the development of the bathroom as a living space and a feel-good oasis, fireplaces and stoves have also established themselves there. However, the highly modern stoves by MCZ have little in common with cast-iron wood-burning stoves. They apply new technology and ideas to provide heat while at the same time ensuring a balanced ambient climate and good air quality.
The stoves are equipped with Oyster technology and have a fully hermetic structure which enables them to draw in air from the outside without using up the oxygen in the room. Thanks to this feature the products with Oyster technology are perfect for use in low-energy buildings. They guarantee a healthy and clean environment because there is no risk of smoke emissions.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
MCZ stoves and fireplaces apply new technology and ideas to provide heat while at the same time ensuring a balanced ambient climate and good air quality

Comfort Air® is a patented system which can be used not only for heating but also for filtering and humidifying air and even lighting the room. In comparison to traditional concepts the system achieves a 30% increase in heat which is generated, and this heat is distributed faster and more evenly. With its "fast" function the room can be heated within a very short time. In the interior of the heat distributor there is a basin for water which evaporates during the escape of the warm air and in this way humidifies the ambient air. The basin is also ideal for the use of scents and essences, which generate a pleasant aroma.
A look back at ISH Frankfurt 2011 – Living in a spa
The new Scenario system is created by the combination of a fireplace with an LCD TV

The new Scenario system is created by the combination of a fireplace with an LCD TV. The design is minimalist and created in such a way that the flames are prominent thanks to the entirely invisible door. Highly resistant materials and innovative technology are the main features of the fireplace which, in the gas-fired version, can be switched on and off or programmed in advance by means of a remote-control.

The combined living space/bathroom gives the idea of the loft a new dimension – where in the past this was a large living room in which it was also possible to wash, eat and sleep, it can now be transformed into a live-in spa – a fascinating future scenario for the bathroom.