To kick-start our month of putting bathrooms under the spotlight, Utopia Projects reviews ISH 2019 by sharing its highlights of the show…
In March, the world’s largest bathroom and heating trade fair, ISH, took place in Frankfurt Germany. With the exhibition taking place every two years, ISH this year attracted around 190,000 visitors all in search for the latest innovations. We took a handful of our clients across for the event to see what some of the world’s leading bathroom manufacturers had on offer.
The most evident trend across many of the manufacturers was digital products with integrated home automation. As with many industries technology is becoming increasingly important, and it is clear that this will be a big feature in forthcoming bathrooms. It was great to see colour feature heavily in many of the displays, with several brands presenting various colour options within their ceramic ranges; Villeroy & Boch, Roca and Laufen ranges were all offering strong and subtle tones for sanitaryware.
Including colour into your bathroom is a fantastic way to put a twist on the monochromatic trend that has been sweeping the interior design world for the past few years. A popular colour choice was black; a bold way to create a sultry and high-end space. Colour accents didn’t stop there either, with many of the manufacturers beginning to increase their special finishes beyond just taps, to shower heads, wastes and accessories. Brands such as Gessi and Victoria & Albert have introduced strong metal finishes within their brassware collections, which will create some drama in public area specifications. Having a wide array of finishes to choose from allows every element of a bathroom to be personalised to specific taste. This is due to the Brassware ranges on offer being now being in such a wide variety of finishes.
“Using large format solid surfaces, such as quartz, is becoming quite popular.”
Seamless design was another trend which we saw beginning to come through, and using large format solid surfaces, such as quartz, is becoming quite popular. These bespoke solid surfaces offer infinite design possibilities allowing every bathroom surface to be manufactured from one material, with minimal joints, creating a visually stunning design.
From all the brands displayed at ISH, a stand that really stood out to us was Gessi. This was due to their fantastic designs, not only for their products. The stand was innovative and eye catching, helping you envision how you can push boundaries for design. Gessi’s themeing for its stand was seemingly avant garde, yet on trend, following the popular outdoor-indoor trend in terms of rain showers, deep basins and large plants to finish.
Dornbracht and Alape took a very different approach to their stand, but was nonetheless as enticing. Both of their approach was subtle in comparison, teasing you into wanting to see and know more about the products. A final stand we were inspired by was by Roca. The company displayed their products as complete rooms allowing us to see variation in products as well as visualise them from a designers prospective. The video demonstration we watched on the stand of one of the mirrors showed us how futuristic and advanced the technology of a simple product can be, which is very exciting from a design point of view. We also saw that Emco is offering a lighting system which can be fully customised, even down to the shaver mirror and mirror cabinet, by one switch, to create mood and ambiance for a totally unique bathroom experience.
A final point we found interesting whilst at ISH was something which is very prominent in society today. Taking the theme of sustainability in its stride was GROHE, which launched products following a close look at consumer behaviour. By launching no less than 500 new innovations, the company’s new collections challenges conventional design of bathroom products and offers sustainable solutions designed to give consumers the ability to take better control. Roca also talked about how it is appealing to make its showers more environmentally friendly. The company plans on integrating digital showers into hotels in order to offer an incentive for users to take shorter showers for discount on future hotel stays. Multiple companies, not just Roca, are interested in monitoring how we consume water in homes, hotels and businesses, resulting in a large impact on the environment.
In conclusion, ISH once again gave an impressive demonstration of its importance for German and international visitors and exhibitors. The next ISH will be held in Frankfurt am Main from March 22 to 26, 2021.
Main image credit: Messe Frankfurt/ISH 2019