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25 Top Tips

Seven of the region's best designers and manufacturers offer advice

Showers for small spaces by Roman
Showers for small spaces by Roman
Supernova by Dornbracht
Supernova by Dornbracht
Trapezium Enclosure by Roman
Trapezium Enclosure by Roman
GreenGain by Villeroy & Boch
GreenGain by Villeroy & Boch
Quaryl by Villeroy & Boch
Quaryl by Villeroy & Boch
Terra bathtub by Naoto Fukasawa
Terra bathtub by Naoto Fukasawa
proDetect by Villeroy & Boch
proDetect by Villeroy & Boch
Mono vessel by Thomas Coward
Mono vessel by Thomas Coward
PuraVida by Duravit
PuraVida by Duravit
Memento by Villeroy & Boch
Memento by Villeroy & Boch
RainSky E by Dornbracht
RainSky E by Dornbracht
Khroma by Roca
Khroma by Roca
Duchas by Roca
Duchas by Roca

ARCHITECT spoke to Purity’s Jeronimo Vernetti, TecnoIN’s Robert Harper, Laufen’s Ivan Zupanovic, Duravit’s Franz Kook as well as Villeroy & Boch, Roca, Roman & Dornbracht to bring you the top 25 things architects should know when designing bathrooms

How much architects specify bathroom components is a difficult question. Traditionally, that decision would fall on the fit-out designer and/or developer as it is largely the result of a cost/benefit analysis. But in the Middle East, where architects often control much of the building process, their input on bathroom components is crucial.

To that end, ARCHITECT caught up with several of the industry’s top manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to highlight 25 things the industry believes architects and developers need to know about bathroom design.

1 Use natural light

“Light is a key factor for comfort and overall health. Take advantage of natural light and don’t cut corners on the lighting fixtures, or else you’ll surely regret it later.” (Vernetti, Purity)

2 Space saving for small bathroom design

The Trapezium Enclosure (TE) by Roman, is ideal for small bathrooms restricted by a window frame, door frame, or other bathroom furniture. Many small bathrooms feature a bath with a window above one end preventing the installation of a bath screen or the replacement of the bath by a shower enclosure. The TE design fits around bathroom restrictions that may limit the installation of a shower, but still allows access to the window.

3 Omnia GreenGain

This is the first wall-mounted WC that consumes just 3.5 litres of water per flush. This represents a reduction of 2.5 litres per flush on the normal flushing volume and therefore corresponds to a saving of 40%. If the lower flushing volume is selected when using the dual flush system, the WC will only use 2 litres of water per flush. (Villeroy & Boch)

4 In-house, on-site

“All of the trades required to build a bathroom—tilers, electricians, carpenters, fitters, plumbers—are all right here with us. That means contractors don’t need to arrange for the intervention of all those crafts. When the bathrooms leaves our factory, it’s 99% ready to be installed and fully functional.” (Robert Harper, TecnoIN)

5 Integration of washing area into bedroom

“This has been the trend of the decade. This design will enhance the look and feel of both the bedroom and the bathroom, while adding a dual functionality to the washing area.” (Vernetti, Purity)

6 Quaryl

This high-quality material enables a variety of stylish designs for baths and shower trays. When planning a new bathroom, it provides greater freedom in terms of size, layout and individual taste. It is possible to produce innumerable forms, lines and edges with Quaryl. An added bonus: Even if the outer dimensions are comparably small, a spacious bath interior can be achieved because the casting process for Quaryl allows the production of particularly steep sides. (Villeroy & Boch)

7 Versatility

The Trapezium Enclosure (TE) features Roman’s Collage Bi-fold Door which can be positioned in the centre of the enclosure, or alternatively, the door can be positioned at either side of the enclosure depending on which angle the enclosure can be best accessed from. (Roman)

8 Prioritise investment

“Don’t be afraid to invest in the design of the bathroom. After all, it is your personal spa and, as such, should be respected as a place of respite and relaxation.” (Vernetti, Purity)

9 R44 STAR cartridge

Saves water because of its 50% saving function and saves energy because the mixer with this cartridge will give 100% cold water when the lever is in the centre position (any other cartridge gives a mixture of 50% hot and 50% cold water). This can save up to 400 kg of CO2 per person, per annum. (Roca)

10 Black is the new white

“The classical colour code for bathrooms is white—like ceramics. White, like black, is not a natural colour—a material is called white, when it reflects every colour of the spectrum with an equal intensity, and it’s called black, when it absorbs all colours of the spectrum. So these two non-colours share similarities. Black is a perfect alternative to white for staging a creative and timeless bathroom.” (Zupanovic, Laufen)

11 More with less

“Unlike conventional methods where concrete or gypsum board is used, we use a fibre polymer substance that is 2mm thick. We then adhere the tile to that substance and fortify it with a steel profile. The overall thickness of the wall, including the profile, panel and tile, is probably in the range of 70mm. And that wall has the same load-bearing capabilities as the conventional solutions.” (Robert Harper, TecnoIN)

12 Selective spending

“You can still select expensive products, even if you don’t have a huge budget. Splash out on an amazing washbasin (or tub, or both) and be thrifty in the mirrors and fixtures. These small elements can change the whole mood of the room.” (Vernetti, Purity)

13 Design gently

“In the bathroom, we had a long period of geometric forms. In the future, there will be an additional need; a need for a new form, for a new emotion. That’s why we are currently interested in modifying pure geometry to create a sense of gentle movement.” (Franz Kook, Duravit)

14 Go for textures

“In the absence of an enormous budget, invest in what goes beyond look: Go for textures. Try loads of stone and wood. Use the nicest tiles. While design will give you the looks, textures will give you the feel,” (Vernetti, Purity)

15 Eco-friendly = quality

“The biggest producers of CO2 in bathrooms are the products; therefore, quality and protecting the environment are intrinsically tied together. The most environmentally friendly product is generally the longest-lasting one, because avoiding is better than recycling waste. Laufen’s newest generation of water-saving WCs flush with 4.5/3 litres in the dual volume flush system as compared to the 6/3 litres of normal toilets.” (Zupanovic, Laufen)

Lightweight TSP Panel

“The TSP Panel is a fraction of the weight of a conventional bathroom, whether conventionally erected or prefabricated. Our overall pod, using the TSP, is going to be in the range of 150kg per square metre, where the other solutions might be 400-500kg.” (Robert Harper, TecnoIN)

17 W+W

A revolutionary design for Washbasin + WC in one vitreous china piece: the water which is consumed in the washbasin is filtered, treated and fills a cistern with which the WC is flushed. (Roca)

18 Good design; increased value

“Bathrooms are technically and aesthetically demanding. Their myriad installations and products handle hot/cold temperature extremes and must function for decades. Bathrooms and kitchens are the only spaces in the living area where it is easier to “read” the real value of a property.” (Zupanovic, Laufen)

19 RainSky E

This is an electronically controlled rain module shower that involves “showering with all the senses.” The technology provides the industry’s first integration of water, mist, light and fragrance, which affects the psychological mood of the user. (Dornbracht)

20 Khromaclean

A showertoilet from Roca, that features unique colours and a unique design, as well as a very comfortable seat & cover and backrest which turns the Khroma WC into a comfortable chair that is both fashionable and functional. (Roca)

21 Prefabricated misconception

“There is a common misconception that prefabricated means ‘cheap’ or lower quality; that couldn’t be further from the truth. We can integrate a limitless number of interior finishes into prefabricated bathrooms. That includes using marble flooring, hand painted mosaics and paint, all on the same wall if necessary.” (Robert Harper, TecnoIN)

22 Fewer steps to completion

“In a traditional bathroom wall, you take a wall of gypsum board and tile it in a conventional way. That requires literally hundreds of steps to finish one wall. With a high-quality, pre-fabricated product, you can build the walls and floors in one step.” (Robert Harper, TecnoIN)

23 Integrative approach to design

“On one hand, quality bathroom design in the Middle East reflects influences from the US and Europe. On the other hand, it is based on traditional Arabian characteristics like the use of stone and marble. It is a creative and integrative approach of both that is required in the Middle East.” (Franz Kook, Duravit)

24 proDetect

This is a revolutionary urinal flush with radar technology. proDetect is vandal proof and reliable. All of the technology is concealed behind the ceramic unit and can therefore not be manipulated or destroyed. And, due to the fact that proDetect does not have any sensors in the siphon, the system always operates reliably and its performance is not compromised by debris, urinescale or limescale. (Villeroy & Boch)

25 Favourable cost comparison

“If clients properly analyse the cost of building a bathroom, including the civil work and completing the work on-schedule, prefabricated bathrooms are far less expensive than conventional methods.” (Robert Harper, TecnoIN)

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Construction Week - Issue 764
May 31, 2020