The bathroom acquires a central role
reading time: 4 minutes
Exchange of ideas between designers. Paolo D’Arrigo explains how, thanks to new furnishings and exquisite finishes, this room is acquiring a dominant role in home design. While Romano Adolini underlines that changes in aesthetics and layouts are not necessarily supported by the necessary ergonomic analysis.
The bathroom is the room which has evolved the most, not only in the home but also in public and Ho.Re.Ca locations. Its transformations have involved not only its finishes and furnishings, but above all the way the space itself is conceived. In this evolution, ceramic materials have acquired new forms and fresh developments can be envisaged. We ask designers who have been designing bathrooms for years to tell us about the imminent scenarios.
“The most obvious transformation has been in the architectural sense. It is as if design paradigms had beenturned inside out: the bathroom has emerged as one of the most fascinating places for designers, and it is becoming more and more visible and integrated in the furnishing project. What’s more, the trend that combines or hybridises the bathroom with other rooms in the home has encouraged the production of new systems, like the large glass enclosures that separate spaces physically but not visually. This transformation is universal, not market-specific, because its origins are in culture and not in style. I find it fascinating how points of interchange like bathrooms have evolved from mere utility areas into rooms where the frantic pace of life can be calmed, stimulating emotional regeneration through the use of natural materials and finishes, combined with technological systems and utilities that are more and more effective in delivering comfort and hygiene.
Ceramic tiles are enjoying a major expansion, but they are also restricted if they are only limited to the reproduction of natural materials like wood and stone. To overcome the possible saturation of the market, I believe more emphasis should be placed on investigation of this material’s own intrinsic language.”
9“Since the ‘90s, the bathroom has been transformed from a self-contained service room into a multi-purpose space with new stylistic lines, materials and finishes. Unfortunately there has been less development in the study of the ergonomics, system design and, at least in the West, technology of sanitary fixtures, due to a strict regulatory framework and a vision which is still excessively traditionalist. Quality results have been achieved in both the private and the public sectors, such as the washrooms of some airports or cultural buildings, but the hotel sector, especially in the luxury category, is the area where we have seen the greatest spatial evolution and theextremes of functional concepts, with all physical separation between the bathroom and bedroom almost eliminated.
Ceramics are an irreplaceable material. Various alternatives have been suggested over the years, including wood, steel, glass or synthetic resins, but now they are very much back in vogue, thanks above all to the development of new finishes and processing techniques, able to satisfy a multiplicity of needs and tastes.”