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    Bathroom specialist Utopia Projects rounds up ISH 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Bathroom specialist Utopia Projects rounds up ISH 2019

    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.

    Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

    Main image credit: Messe Frankfurt/ISH 2019

    GROHE Shapes the Future of Water 500 innovations at ISH 2019

    1024 658 Hamish Kilburn

    GROHE welcomed guests to its innovative stand showcasing the ‘Future of Water’ at ISH 2019… 

    Consumers are fundamentally changing how they define and use their living spaces in both the home and in the hotel environment. GROHE has identified five mega trends as consumers have risen from passive consumption to taking control over the creation of new living spaces and have become creators themselves in seeking simplicity and intelligent product solutions. Today, more than ever, product innovation and design depend on an empathetic understanding of these trends as consumers are inclined to choose integrated solutions over single products. GROHE gave an impressive account of its journey in reflecting the five mega trends in its offering to consumers and customers during its keynote event at the start of the ISH trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. With a record number of 500 single new products GROHE surprised its customers and consumers with solutions that actively shape the future of water.

    3D metal-printing will revolutionise the water experience in the home

    A unique formula of granules has been exclusively developed by GROHE for its 3D metal-printers located at its Hemer manufacturing site in Germany. “The design of our new faucets GROHE Atrio Icon 3D and GROHE Allure Brilliant Icon 3D are beyond belief. They make the unthinkable possible,” Michael Rauterkus, CEO GROHE AG, said. “What you see is the future of design. For consumers, it’s the future of their own creativity and ultimate personalisation. We believe that 3D metal-printing will revolutionise the water experience in the home. It’s the ultimate blend of customisation and industrial production.”

     “Consumer expectations are changing to a great extent”- Michael Rauterkus, CEO, GROHE AG

    Changing requirements as consumers become creators

    The boundaries between the individual living areas are becoming more blurred. The kitchen is often part of the living room, the bathroom opens up to the bedroom and both are becoming important living spaces instead of purely functional ones. When designing their own living space, consumers pay much more attention to detail in the bathroom and the kitchen than ever before. Consequently, bathroom and kitchen products have become household furnishings that allow consumers to express their individual style and preferences. As the first European leading sanitary brand to launch 3D metal-printed faucets, GROHE breaks with the old principle of form following function and combines cutting-edge technology with spectacular design. It is an impressive statement of GROHE’s willingness and ability to shape the future of water and accompany its customers and consumers on their journey to create the living spaces they desire. “Consumer expectations are changing to a great extent”, said Rauterkus, as he delivered his keynote speech in front of 350 international journalists and invited guests. “GROHE is shaping the future of water, in terms of design and innovation, both analogue and digital, giving our customers and our consumers the building blocks they need to harness the power and the beauty of water – as a tailored experience wherever they enjoy water.” Whilst new living spaces evolve around the bathroom and the kitchen, consumers are often confronted with an unwanted complexity in the creation process.

    Dramatic setting with tap

    Image credit: GROHE

    GROHE helps customers in seeking simplicity – creation without complexity

    The search for simplicity in terms of easy and intuitive solutions is met with a new minimalism to people’s homes. GROHE clearly positioned itself as a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions, supporting consumers in becoming creators without having to deal with complexity. Its products combine quality with a stunning range of colors and materials: from faucets, showers and ceramics, to kitchen faucets, sinks, accessories and flush plates. “Nobody else offers, across the whole product range, the quality and durability in so many colors that bathrooms and kitchens require”, emphasised Rauterkus. Essence, GROHE’s newly introduced and first ceramic line that includes bathtubs, is a perfect showcase of the new minimalism and search for simplicity, showing beauty in its purest form. The design line’s characteristics are its gentle organic forms that are based on their reduction to the essentials. But minimalism by GROHE goes far beyond design, it means also the intuitive handling and easy installation of products. The new GROHE Rapido SmartBox provides architects, planners and installers with an infinite number of possible solutions with just one concealed installation solution: For maximum efficiency and planning flexibility, the concealed installation can be combined not only with the innovative shower system GROHE SmartControl but also with thermostats and single-lever mixers, offering a universal solution for all requirements.

    “Overall GROHE introduced a record number of innovations and more than 500 single new products that address the five mega trends.”

    A new connected eco system for water security and water management

    At ISH two years ago, GROHE launched its first Internet of Things (IoT) solution, GROHE Sense and GROHE Sense Guard. Today, GROHE is pioneering digitisation in the sanitary industry and extends its competence well beyond sanitary hardware solutions. At the ISH 2019 keynote, GROHE announced a new generation of GROHE Sense water sensors and the launch of GROHE Sense Guard Pro, which is optimised for use in multi-family homes and high-rise residential buildings. Installed on both the cold and hot water pipes, it offers water security and provides accurate water consumption data directly onto mobile devices via the GROHE Sense App. This also means that there is full visibility of water and energy consumption, allowing consumers to take control. Moreover, with the combination GROHE Sense Guard and Sense Guard Pro, the global brand is now able to help prevent water damage in 90 percent of the residential market. The GROHE Sense system has created a disruptive new business model for GROHE as well as for installers and new business partners such as insurance and property management companies. “We are creating an intelligent platform, the biggest ecosystem for water security and water management, which will allow our industry partners worldwide, such as insurance companies, to implement new business models”, said Rauterkus.

    Largest innovation push of GROHE to date at ISH

    Overall GROHE introduced a record number of innovations and more than 500 single new products that address the five mega trends ‘new living spaces’, ‘consumers become creators’, ‘simplicity seekers – the search for simplicity’, ‘taking control’, and ‘intelligent life management’. It is the biggest innovation push of GROHE so far – tailored to the needs of consumers as well as professional partners such as architects, installers, insurers and smart home experts. “As GROHE stands for Water, Intelligence, and Enjoyment, we are creating intelligent water solutions that transform lives for the better”, highlighted Michael Rauterkus. “Most importantly, we are transforming the experience of water itself”.

    GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

    Main image credit: GROHE

    GROHE unveils universal solution of concealed shower installations

    800 577 Hamish Kilburn

    GROHE Rapido SmartBox is now compatable with more than 170 different GROHE trim designs…

    Since its initial launch in 2017, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox in combination with the SmartControl Concealed trim sets has ensured the easy installation and premium performance of concealed shower systems, helping to support the trend for minimalist interiors in both residential and commercial projects. With its “push, turn, shower” functions, it offers individual and intuitive control combined with a space-saving and slim design.

    Now, the Rapido Smartbox can be used as a universal shower solution thanks to its compatibility with more than 170 different GROHE trim designs, offering architects, designers, specifiers and installers freedom of planning and efficient installation when working on projects. Plus, with an installation depth of only 75mm, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox fits into every kind of wall, even particularly narrow ones. Furthermore, its recent successful WRAS accreditation pays testament to its high standards when it comes to compliance with water regulations. The esteemed approval by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme also enables the Rapido Smartbox to be specified by housebuilders for property development.

    The Rapido Smartbox now matches perfectly with three different styles of trim set; two-handle thermostats, single-lever mixers and the SmartControl Concealed, all of which are available in an array of colours, finishes, shapes and sizes. All three styles offer varying functionalities, aesthetics and price points, catering for all projects regardless of space, size and budget.

    Rapido Smartbox: Efficient, universal installation

    The extensive range of trim set designs which allows greater freedom over aesthetic and functionality for customers is made possible by the exciting innovations that lie behind the wall within the Rapido Smartbox. With three outlets, the Rapido Smartbox facilitates a wider range of showering options, for which previously two rough-ins would have been required. This helps to make the complexity of concealed showering more accessible for both installers and customers alike. In addition, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox makes adapters dispensable as it has ½ inch outlets to which all standard tubes can be connected. Designed with easy installation in mind, the Smartbox is equipped with inlets that connect from below, allowing a direct connection to the hot and cold water supply. Therefore the use of 90-degree fittings is eliminated.

    This innovative shower mechanism also provides many other benefits for installers including:
    • Subsequent adjustment of the trim set by six degrees post-installation to perfectly align with tiles and joints is possible thanks to long holes in the unit.
    • Optional service stops for retrofit allow installers to gain complete access over the water supply in just a few steps. During maintenance, each of the Smartcontrol or Smartbox fittings can be closed directly and separately.
    • The GROHE Rapido SmartBox can be retrofitted with a safety protection against backflow and meets the EU standard 1717 when installed with an integrated bath-fill and overflow unit.
    • Easy on-site installation is made possible thanks to the helpful brass outlets which allow connection to the pipes to be installed with the use of a pipe wrench. This means mounting can be carried out quickly and easily on-site and a bench vice is not necessary.

    SmartControl Concealed: Ultra-thin design for additional space in the shower

    For bathrooms where space is extremely limited, GROHE offers a particularly “slim” solution: GROHE SmartControl Concealed in combination with the new GROHE Rapido SmartBox. The installation of the behind-the-wall technology combined with the ultra-slim design of the trim which projects just 43 mm from the surface of the wall, creates a minimalist look and gives the feeling of additional space in the shower. SmartControl Concealed is controlled using intuitive push-and-turn technology to individually select the preferred shower spray type and control water volume. Each shower trim, available in a round or square design, can operate up to three functions from head shower to hand shower and bath filler to body jets, for a truly customised shower that meets the demands of each individual bathroom’s needs. In addition, several styles are available: a classic Chrome finish or a discreet, elegant MoonWhite acrylic glass design. The SmartControl shower mixer trim is also available in SuperSteel and Brushed Hard Graphite and as of May 2019, there will be seven other metallic finishes on offer, complete with GROHE’s unique PVD coating which provides long-lasting colour and durability.

    Two-handle thermostats: Simple operation delivers precise control

    The new two-handle thermostats have been designed to offer convenient temperature and water flow control, using the same iconic visual icons as the SmartControl. They are compact, space-saving and combine precise performance with a slim, minimalist design. GROHE thermostats excel in delivering ease of operation, safety, comfort and above all, a relaxing shower experience. Equipped with leading technology, the GROHE TurboStat thermostat reacts within fractions of a second to pressure and temperature fluctuations. The mixing ratio of cold and hot water is continuously adjusted so that the temperature selected remains constant. Both head shower and hand shower can be controlled by intuitive rotation of the Aquadimmer handle, the upper control on the trim set. Turning the upper control slightly to the left will activate the hand shower, and by simply continuing to turn to the left, the water flow and power of the spray will increase. When the head shower is required, simply switch the control to the right and once again, increase volume by continuing to turn.
    The two-handle thermostats are newly available in a slimmer profile, with only 43mm projection from the wall, and are offered in both round and square designs. In addition to the single-function models, models with two functions are now available, with clear pictograms used to indicate head and hand shower or shower and bath filler.

    Single-lever mixers: Comfortable and simple operation for unlimited showering pleasure

    GROHE single-lever mixers are designed for functionality and offer a stylish, sleek look that will prove popular with consumers. The latest additions to the range now make three-way functionality a reality, where only single and two-way systems were possible before. Users can now choose from three different types of spray pattern using the upper button on the mixer; from a powerful jet spray, to a relaxing rainshower or a practical hand shower. Meanwhile, the lower handle provides comfortable and intuitive temperature and water control. The trim sets, which have been designed to match all GROHE brassware ranges to ensure coordinated design in bathroom projects, are easy to install thanks to GROHE QuickFix, which reduces fitting time by up to 50 per cent.

    ISH Preview: Laufen to exhibit collaboration with Patricia Urquiola

    797 534 Hamish Kilburn

    At the upcoming edition of ISH, Laufen will present SaphirKeramik in all its forms with the return of Sonar, the refined collection designed for the Swiss company by Patricia Urquiola…

    Laufen is enthusiastically preparing to participate at the upcoming iteration of ISH, the indispensable biennial event in the field of bath furnishings.

    Always on the front lines of research and experimentation, Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Laufen brings its finest innovation to Frankfurt: SaphirKeramik. High-tech and ecological, this ceramic material patented by the company has launched a new trend in the world of bathroom design, which has continued with growing success since 2013, in applications for both the residential and contract sectors.

    The technical characteristics of SaphirKeramik are enviable, and never cease to amaze due to the infinite range of potentialities yet to be fully explored. Qualities like extreme strength, lightness and slimness have stimulated great designers to work with SaphirKeramik, in collaboration with Laufen, in an unprecedented exploration of form with a spirit of boundless creativity. Alongside the other collections, visitors will rediscover the allure and elegance of Sonar, designed for Laufen by Patricia Urquiola.

    Winner of the iF Design Award 2018 in the Product category, Sonar has proven its capacity to bring out the exceptional qualities of SaphirKeramik. Based on a creative process full of stimulating ideas, the pieces in the collection embody a sculptural aesthetic through symmetrical volumes, minimal lines and a sophisticated balance of angles and curves. The thin, bright and lightweight surfaces of Sonar give rise to an innovative, sophisticated design that perfectly combines beauty and functional quality. Another feature also enhances the refined forms of the collection: the very fine three-dimensional texture created by Patricia Urquiola to add a decorative sign to the ceramic material. Inspired by sound waves that spread in water, the motif on the external walls of the basins runs vertically, also producing a pleasing tactile sensation.

    The Sonar collection is composed of freestanding or wall-mounted, single or double washbasins in SaphirKeramik, a bathtub in Sentec, and a series of wooden cabinets. Technology is a constant presence in Laufen’s products, and once again in this case Swiss quality translates into painstaking attention to detail. Thanks to intensive design research, the flow of water is optimised and perfectly channelled, facilitating operations of cleaning and maintenance, in solutions that guarantee maximum functional performance and sustainability.

    Main image credit: Laufen

    GROHE to shape the future of water with record number of innovations at ISH 2019

    800 600 Hamish Kilburn

    GROHE, a Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier, will showcase a record number of innovations at ISH 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for the responsible use of water and energy in buildings…

    For the first time, GROHE will position itself as a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions, kitchen systems and intelligent water management at ISH 2019. The bathroom brand will reinforce its philosophy Water. Intelligence. Enjoyment by bringing the element of water to the forefront of its new innovations.

    The event will open with a keynote speech from GROHE CEO Michael Rauterkus sharing his vision of how GROHE actively shapes the future of water; including, amongst other things, digitisation and intelligent water management.

    GROHE strives to be a driving force in the sanitary industry’s digital transformation In recent years, GROHE has evolved from a premium brassware expert into a driving force of digital transformation within the sanitary industry, even offering its own Internet of Things (IoT) products. The smart water controller GROHE Sense Guard has arrived in the world of the smart home and secures the brand a place among the Top 100 Insurtechs in the Digital Insurance Agenda1. Digitisation is always impacting new areas of our lives. The change from a smart home to an intelligently connected home will be the subject of discussion at the Intelligent Living Summit, a high-profile ISH panel discussion that will take place on Wednesday 13thMarch as part of the show’s agenda of events. The Intelligent Living Summit will see GROHE partner with German companies Miele and Viessmann to discuss how your home can support your life in various and intelligent ways.

    “Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa.”

    New ceramic lines and a vast range of colours and materials The bathroom is being increasingly considered as a ‘living space’; somewhere we relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Therefore, more bespoke requirements and concepts are needed. Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa. These include minimalist ceramic lines that perfectly match GROHE brassware products in both form and function, as well as the GROHE Colours Collection, a range of GROHE taps and accessories in ten different colours and finishes that allow the utmost possible creative freedom for individualising the kitchen and bathroom.

    Simply Universal – GROHE Rapido SmartBox Even behind the wall, GROHE can offer innovations with considerable added value to both installers and end users. The new GROHE Rapido SmartBox provides installers, architects and planners with an infinite number of solutions, using just one flush-mounted unit. It can be used universally for all of GROHE’s final assembly sets, regardless of whether that is a single-lever mixer, thermostat or SmartControl product. The GROHE Rapido SmartBox features three outlets for a wider range of shower options and a tailored showering experience. Installation is easy thanks to inlets for hot and cold water that are connected from below. It also offers subsequent adjustment options by up to six degrees, a minimum installation depth of only 75mm and other benefits that visitors can experience directly at the booth.

    GROHE set to inspire visitors with a new booth concept GROHE can be found in the FORUM hall at Messe Frankfurt. Using three themed environments and putting the consumer at the centre of the experience, GROHE will present intelligent and sustainable solutions which have been integrated into a multitude of individual design options for the bathroom and the kitchen. Visitors will be able to experience GROHE products and innovations on all levels of the transparent, elliptical glass construction – live, interactively and with the help of multimedia.

    GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

    Main image credit: GROHE