As a room everyone needs to visit, no matter what their social standing (or sitting), bathrooms can be one of the best ways to add character to a project. Used when we are at our most vulnerable, bathrooms are calm, solitary arenas, giving a few minutes of peace in an otherwise hectic environment. So the originality of the user experience can really stand out.
Whether they bring relaxation to hospitality, individuality to residential or drama, and culture to public space, bathrooms can both surprise and delight users, while allowing them to rest. Here are eight projects where a designer bathroom is an integral part of interior architecture.
The boutique Mondrian hotel fits right in with memorable middle-eastern hospitality, combining Laufen Palomba and Laufen Pro WCs and washbasins with large bespoke bathtubs. Each piece has a sculptural quality equal to the rest of the hotel, with its ophidian helical staircase and Alice in Wonderland-inspired interior light canopies.
25 Hours Hotel – The Circle
Following the maxim that less is more, the 25 Hours hotel uses Kartell by Laufen washbasin bowls without pedestals, utilizing exposed metal plumbing to great effect, bringing light and minimalism to its binary spaces.
Rooms are split between those on the darker inside of the building and those in the light-filled outer section. Both feature an open-plan bathroom concept with fixtures kept light, but the inner rooms present a more vibrant, futuristic interior while the outer rooms offer a more retro affair, with showers overlooking a window over the city.
Seerose Resort and Spa
Lake Hallwil, Switzerland
Relaxation and tranquility are overarching themes of the Asian-inspired Seerose wellness retreat, sitting 40km outside Zurich on the shores of Lake Hallwil. Spacious bathroom suites filled with fruit-wood paneling and KWC fixtures bring the tasteful, refined character of the spa right into the resort’s private spaces.
Deliberate exaggerations and surprises are the basis of the Laurichhof Hotel’s interior concept. By using Tece flush plates and shower channels in the bathrooms, the design team Annette Katrin Seidel and Franz Philip Seidel were able to create stainless steel bathroom surfaces as visibly astounding as the ceiling and wall motifs created in the hotel’s other areas, such as the zebra-patterned dining-room ceiling or the living-ceiling in the spa.
Project architects Jarmund / Vigsnæs wanted all 52 high-quality apartments of the Wesselkvartalet development to feature their own individuality. Residents all have unique apartments of different shapes and sizes, so by using Duscholux’s highly variable Collection 2 range of shower panel fittings, the designers were able to include the sophisticated features of the showers in all apartments, despite their unique floor plans.
BBC Television Centre
UK housing shortages mean many iconic buildings are being turned into residential spaces, with the more famous the building, the higher the demand for its postcode. This combination of an old building with contemporary utility is referenced in the historic BBC Television Centre’s redevelopment as a high-end residential space by Suzy Hoodless, an interior architect on the development’s show home. Hoodless combined contemporary geometric Val washbasins from Laufen, alongside contemporary geometric tiles, together in a fashionably traditional two-tone color theme and style.
Luxury Entertainment Venues
Accommodating a philharmonic hall and chamber music hall, the Elbphilharmonie is the epicentre for social and cultural entertainment in Hamburg. The building’s eye-catching facade of curved glass windows provides a distinctive view to look down on the city while washing one’s hands in the restrooms’ Palomba washbasins from Laufen.
Taking the form of a spinning zoetrope, the Royal Arena in Copenhagen is a culturally symbolic image of entertainment itself. Visitors entertained by international music artists, musical productions and sporting events will find no respite from the drama of the stage in the public restrooms, however. Theatrical Vila urinals, along with other Laufen sanitaryware pieces, combine and contrast with the restrooms’ death-black tiled interiors to create a character worthy of the stage.