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Bathrooms: The Latest Architecture and News

The New Normal: Touch-free Faucets for Restrooms in Public Buildings

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After a few atypical years, the hustle and bustle of a day in the city is back to what it used to be: leaving the house and going to the office, taking the car, bus or plane, grabbing a quick bite to eat in a restaurant, stopping by a museum or a bookshop to get some fresh air and, if we have any energy left, hitting the gym before heading home. In less than 24 hours we pass through several buildings with all kinds of rooms, but they all have one thing in common: the bathroom.

Designing a bathroom can be one of the most challenging but exciting tasks for architects, as both its elements and fittings must provide a safe and hygienic experience for all those who use it on a daily basis. Before COVID-19 came along, there was already a growing trend: the use of non-contact infrared taps. As the name suggests, these are taps that are activated by a sensor that detects the movement of the hand - almost as if by magic.

Transforming Office Washrooms into Spaces of Wellness and Creativity

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Many associate bathrooms with small, simple and practical rooms with no defining design characteristics. Historically, they have been conceived as merely functional environments strictly programmed for hygiene, privacy and ease of maintenance –often with no room for creativity. But as lifestyle changes have placed health and wellness as a top priority, contemporary bathroom design has been reimagined accordingly, shifting towards spacious personal retreats intended for comfort, relaxation and recuperation; an escape from a chaotic outside world. Because we tend to spend most of our time inside the home, many recent discussions naturally revolve around residential bathrooms, overlooking another setting where we also spend a significant number of hours in (around one third of our lives to be exact): the workplace.

Bathroom Cabinets: 15 Examples

Thinking about woodworking in wet areas is one of the key parts of interior design. In the case of bathrooms, besides creating spaces for storing toiletries or towels, woodworking can serve as an element that composes the space by bringing different possibilities of decoration or even hiding pipes.

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A Sustainable Future for Hospitality Design: The Bette Intelligence Series

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Hospitality is an industry made of people being hospitable to people, and our interaction with places is its foundation. If the zeitgeist of our era lies in the perpetual dance of shock and awareness of how we treat each other and the planet we live on, what considerations should we pose to inform and shape what’s next for hotels? If there’s ever been a moment to think about the future of hospitality, this is it.

What Happens When Public Spaces are Without Public Restrooms?

In the realm of design, we often talk about ensuring that there are enough public spaces to serve a community. We discuss the need for public parks so that people have access to outdoor spaces. We think about public transportation, and how our dwindling reliance on cars will help to ensure that we have a healthier planet. But what about the public spaces we lack? What happens when we don’t have enough public restrooms?

Reimagining the Bathroom: Contemporary Bathtubs for Total Relaxation

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Throughout the years, bathrooms have been viewed as purely functional spaces strictly programmed for hygiene and privacy. Becoming smaller and more practical, the utilitarian, space-saving shower stall has often been considered the norm, pushing the bathtub into obsolescence or as an additional luxury for those with extra space (and money). Recently, however, as lifestyle changes driven by the pandemic have placed wellness as a top priority, the notion of the bathroom as a sanctuary has really taken hold. Contemporary bathrooms have thus been reimagined, shifting towards open spaces of relaxation, comfort and recuperation. And tubs – with their inherent meditative nature – have returned to the spotlight.

A Modern Personal Retreat: Material Compositions for the Bathroom

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As cities become denser and the pandemic continues to shape living and working patterns, people have become well aware that the space they inhabit greatly influences their physical and mental well-being. As a result, the interior design of homes has focused on promoting sensitivity, comfort and calmness as a way of escaping the uncertain outside world. As a safe space where we practically start and end each day, the modern bathroom has also adapted accordingly, taking on a key role as an environment dedicated to relaxation and self-care. Hence, what used to be a purely functional zone is now perceived as an energizing personal retreat and flexible living space that can even adopt other functions – from a gym to a private spa.

The Return of the Tub: Traditional Bathtub Typologies into Contemporary Bathroom Design

Although they are an integral and necessary space in residential architecture, the wide variety of design opportunities for bathrooms has often remained overlooked in favor of practicality. Historically programmed for privacy, the contemporary bathroom has been re-imagined for a greater sense of openness and comfort - finding a delicate balance between privacy and exposure is facilitated by design objects such as the tub.

The Comeback of Retro Design Trends in Modern Bathrooms

Even though white minimalism remains the norm, retro trends are making a serious comeback in modern bathroom designs, with homeowners incorporating pops of color, classic fixtures, and patterned surfaces. Despite often being static and traditional spaces in homes, bathrooms have certainly undergone significant transformations throughout the years. While those of the outspoken 1970s brought vibrant colors like avocado green and mustard yellow, the ‘80s introduced ceramic tiles in more muted, pastel shades. On the other hand, this century has set the ideal on white and marbled surfaces, slick gloss finishes, and silver fixtures. However, even as this all-white look continues to be the protagonist, bold retro enhancements are reviving and blending in with contemporary elements to create elegant, yet lively atmospheres with a strong character.

The Restroom Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Displays how Restrooms are Political Battlegrounds

"When we enter the restroom, we are never alone. Instead, we are entangled in a network of bodies, infrastructures, ecosystems, cultural norms, and regulations". Although restrooms are often overlooked facilities that cater to the needs of individuals, they are, however, spaces where gender, religion, race, hygiene, health, and the economy are defined and expressed. For the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, Matilde Cassani, Ignacio G. Galán, Iván L. Munuera, and Joel Sanders designed two pavilions that exhibit how restrooms are political architectures, serving as battlegrounds for the world's disputes.

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Transforming the Bathroom into a Space for Living

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What we are currently experiencing in the world is a shift in values. A crisis like COVID-19 leads us to question how we want to live, who is important to us, how we should spend our time. As our needs change, we focus on enduring values such as family, community, and an emphasis on our physical and mental well-being. When it comes to the objects that we surround ourselves with, themes such as lasting value, longevity, and quality are coming to the forefront. It is no longer only about what is good for the individual today, but also what will be useful and relevant tomorrow.