Biophilic bathroom design – it’s a term we will hear a lot more about! It is the art of improving our health and well-being by introducing a closer connection between people and nature in the bathing space. It can be as simple as using natural materials and surface finishes such as stone, marble and timber or as complex as constructing large skylights that open to the sky or full length glass bringing the greenery of the outside in.
Biophilic design also encompasses light, smell, touch and sound – the natural light acquired by windows and skylights; the smell of flowers from a candle or an open window; the sight of a living green wall in a shower enclosure; and the touch of a rainshower on the skin after a long and tiring day.
According to Kohler, a global leader in bathroom design and innovation – the choice of bathroom fittings plays a major role in achieving the closeness to nature that can produce an increased sense of relaxation, rejuvenation and positivity in our state of mind.
The Exhale Slide Shower epitomises the reproduction of nature’s therapeutic powers in the bathroom. Designed to produce a rainshower experience the Exhale has a choice of four spray functions – full coverage, drenching rain, intense massage and silk. Even the spray face of the showerhead replicates the delicate nature of the petals of the dahlia flower.
The Exhale’s Katalyst technology has been developed by Kohler to replicate the large, full water droplets of a dense rainshower while still conserving water. It introduces 2.2 litres of air into every 9.4 litres of water and carries a 3 star WELS rating, using only 9 litres of water a minute.
A deep, long soak in a bath that will support and soothe the body is also integral to the biophilic bathing experience, especially if accompanied by soothing nature soundscapes, soft mood lighting and scented bush flower oils.
Kohler’s latest addition to its freestanding bath collection is the Veil bath, a deeply luxurious bath sculpted from Lithocast cast resin with an opulent 40cm soaking depth. It features supportive contours to cradle the body together with a sloped lumbar support.
The Veil is a visual statement like no other – the bath’s profile is one of flowing lines and perfectly balanced curves, sculpted simplicity in perfect lockstep with the most discerning contemporary style. It measures 1661mm x 933mm x 648mm.
Kohler’s Lithocast cast resin material is soft on the skin, lightweight and extremely easy to clean with its beautiful high-gloss finish.
And when looking for the visual talking point of any biophilic design bathroom, nothing says NATURE quite like the newly arrived Dutchmaster Collection of basins!
Big, bold, lush florals, dramatically enhanced by a deeply dark, moody background, adorn the entire surface of the basin’s interiors.
Blush Floral is a vivid mass of large scale peonies, dahlias, ranunculus and hydrangeas in lush colours of blush pink, ivory and darkest rose on an onyx background. And for delicate relief? A beautiful, Painted Lady butterfly poised on a single stem.
The vessel basins have been designed to sit proud of the vanity and feature a subtle, defining lift at the edge of the bowl. They can be paired with wall mount or bench mount mixer taps – and due to the basin’s rich colouring will suit many of Kohler’s metal finishes, from polished and rose gold to vibrant brushed bronze, titanium and brushed nickel.
These beautiful, full bloom works of art are featured on two styles of basin – the Carillon rectangle Wading Pool and the Carillon Round Wading Pool.
The clear message, says Kohler, when creating a bathing haven, is to look to Mother Nature for inspiration and Kohler for implementation!
Kohler is available from all major plumbing merchants nationwide.
“FutureHAUS”, a unique solar home designed and built by Virginia Tech research university, with the support and technical input of Kohler Co, has won the international Solar Decathlon, held for the first time in Dubai.
Beating 27 other universities from 11 countries, the Virginia Tech team had just two weeks to build its prototype FutureHAUS house, that runs exclusively on solar power, in a public expo area next to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park. The goal of the competition was to create a high performing solar home – seen as the smart, sustainable housing of the future – able to function in the extreme climate conditions of the Middle East. A key requirement was that it had to be able to be mass produced in similar communities around the world.
Kohler worked with Virginia Tech for two years advising on design and technical attributes that could achieve high functioning, smart solutions for both kitchen and bathroom.
The winning FutureHAUS, that enabled Virginia Tech to take home the $250,000 first prize, utilised factory-built cartridges to create living spaces that adapt to their inhabitants.
Kohler provided technical advice and guidance on the water delivery system in the kitchen where metered amounts of water are delivered via voice control.
In the main bathroom the vanity top is 3D printed and utilises Kohler’s technological expertise to incorporate three sensors within the basin that employ the company’s Response touchless technology. Kohler has then coupled these sensors to three of its DTV digital showering systems.
Virginia Tech was the only team from the US to compete in this year’s Solar Decathlon. The prototype houses were judged on 10 criteria:
architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, comfort conditions, house functioning, sustainable transportation, sustainability, communications and innovation.
The Solar Decathlon, now in its 16th year, supports Dubai’s stated goal to have the smallest carbon footprint of any global city by 2050.
According to one of the world’s leading trends forecasters, there is a move towards a deeper, bolder colour palette in bathroom design – the result of a significant cultural shift.
Li Edelkoort, renowned for her long-term global trends forecasts, delivered some shape-shifting insights into colour and texture in a highly anticipated workshop with Caesarstone quartz surfaces earlier this year (2018).
Illustrating the increasingly dramatic colours being used in bathrooms, Edelkoort explained that interior design is no longer a culture that tries to imitate nature but rather take inspiration from it.
Bathrooms, for example, will take their cue from carbon fibre, those materials that come naturally from fire and dust. “It’s a new way of looking at beauty,” said Ms Edelkoort. And dark, dramatic colours will be used in bathrooms to create a more sophisticated, hedonistic ambience. “Many bathrooms will include black, sometimes in combination with brass, to create a sense of luxury,” she said.
Caesarstone Black Noir
Kohler’s PVD tapware, including the modernist Purist and the vintage Artifacts collections, are the perfect fit for this look. Each is available in a range of ‘precious metals’ including brushed bronze, polished gold and rose gold. Purist, while inspired by vintage hand pumps, is the essence of simplicity and authenticity – a timeless design in either a single lever mixer or three piece basin set.
Artifacts is the antithesis of this – a collection of tapware that references the form and ornamentation of the Edwardian period, available in the deep, rich textures of oil-rubbed and vibrant brushed bronze. Each collection has matching accessories.
Dramatic stone or quartz surfaces in deepest black, bold charcoal or midnight grey will feature on benchtops, splashbacks, walls and floors, some in solid colour and others with sweeping, bold pattern and veining or smaller, homogeneous chips. Each will create a sense of visual daring and bold statement.
In keeping with this bold design are Kohler’s Petaline and Mica jet black basins – each a statement piece to provide perfect balance with the dramatic dark tones of the Caesarstone finishes.
Petaline, inspired by a single petal, is a feat of engineering mastery in cast iron with black enamel finish. The 615mm long basin is counter-balanced to create a vision of elegance and seemingly impossible poise.
Mica, available in either square or round format, is a beautifully sophisticated and refined honed black countertop vessel with super slim walls – just 6mm – to give the appearance of extreme delicacy and understated style.
Edelkoort used some of Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces to demonstrate the look – such as Vanilla Noir, Piatra Grey and Night Sky – along with metal elements, such as brass, to further enhance the sense of luxury and indulgence that can be achieved.