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.
The release of Kohler’s Veil, in a wall faced design, is the ultimate pairing of pure, ergonomic design and customised personal cleansing, operated via a touchscreen LCD remote control.
Every aspect of the Veil toilet experience is hands free – including an auto, touch-less flush – with a focus on absolute comfort. The cover and ergonomically designed seat are motion-activated while the temperature of the heated seat can be adjusted for optimal comfort. And for total peace of mind, the bowl can be LED lit for night time visits.
Combining both a toilet and a modern-day bidet, the Veil Intelligent Toilet‘s advanced personal cleansing functions can be customised for water temperature; spray style, position and pressure; plus pulsate and oscillate functions.
The precision air dryer can also be adjusted to personal preferences for temperature. On sitting down, a fan is activated which draws air from the toilet bowl through a carbon filter to remove odours and help keep the bathroom fresh.
In line with the hands-free design of the Veil – which sports an uber-hygienic rimless bowl – the wand is self-cleaning, using UV light and electrolysed water systems to sanitise its surfaces.
The Veil wall faced intelligent toilet, by Kohler, is a compact, one-piece toilet with elongated bowl for added room and comfort. It features an in-wall fully concealed cistern with a 3/4.5L flush. The Veil is also available in a wall hung configuration.
A 29-year-old design student, from Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology, has won Kohler New Zealand’s inaugural Future Designer Award 2018.
Judged by Kohler’s UK-based director of new product development, Kitchen and Bathroom, Mark Bickerstaffe, the competition attracted entries from talented, forward-thinking design students.
Erin Bell, of Warkworth, took out the first prize of $5000, with her concept for The Bathroom Island, a futuristic, sculptural piece celebrating the body, its health and diversity. A sybaritic zone for cleansing, pampering, health analysis and beauty rituals the design pays homage to both the human body and the planet. Materials are natural and unadorned, technology brings a new level of sophistication to personal health while lighting and ergonomics are designed to complement individual bodies and skin tones.
Erin Bell. First Place Kohler Future Designer 2018
The Bathroom Island also recognises the growing urgency around environmental issues with all materials chosen for their sustainability and respect for the health of the planet. No plastics are used, electricity is generated from solar panels, towels have been replaced by integrated hand, face and body dryers and large windows create a light-filled space that is less reliant on electricity to illuminate and warm it.
“The Bathroom Island a retreat within the home holistically designed to support our health and well-being amidst our busy lives. I feel we have an opportunity and responsibility to design spaces now and into the future that is not just healthy to live in but is ethically and environmentally considered. The nude colour scheme compliments skin and body tones and reflects the natural raw state of how we are in the bathroom” said Erin
Erin Bells’ bathroom of the future concept, featuring the bathroom island.
In announcing the winner, Mark Bickerstaffe commented – “Erin’s design is a vision of the highest quality and very well done. Beautifully presented, it is seductive, sensitive and in tune with the bold and gracious life, we all hope to live in the future. The Bathroom Island subtly incorporates the connectivity and enhanced the experience that technology can delivery”.
Erin designed “an essential space for morning routines & evening rituals”. featuring a waterfall tap, wireless charging, an oasis mirror with a built-in camera, filters, daily self-affirmation, and more.
Runner-up was 22year old Connor Smith of Auckland University of Technology for his ‘barrage’ of ideas that explore the challenges of living graciously amidst urban densification – including adaptive facial recognition technology, vanity unit with concealed bath, auto-adjusting shower head and water infusion unit for body care products. The potential of the transformative bathroom was highlighted with the innovation challenge of accomplishing it simply, intuitively and with a better experience as a result. Connor took home a designer award trophy and $2,000 cash! AUT Industrial Design students did very well, taking up 6 places in the final top ten.
Connor Smith. Runner-up Kohler Future Designer 2018
The top 10 entries, including the winners from Kohler’s inaugural Future Designers’ Award, can be seen on the website https://kohler.co.nz/designaward
Converge – it’s the very latest in showering technology! This piece of ingenuity sees sleek design converge with space-saving smarts to create a truly multifunctional showerhead that features a cleverly integrated hand shower.
The 152mm diameter flat-faced showerhead is wall mounted and at first glance appears to be a simple, large format showerhead – but its exterior rim almost magically detaches from the magnetic docking station and becomes a very convenient, separate hand shower!
Converge, with its advanced spray engine, provides three powerful spray patterns while using only 9 litres of water a minute (WELS 3 star rated). The showerhead literally sculpts water!
Choose from the dense, luxurious Silk spray; or Infinity – three spray experiences in one (complete cleanse, refreshing massage and delicate rinse); or Full Coverage for a drenching, all-encompassing spray.
In sleek polished chrome, Converge features an easy clean spray face that simply wipes clean with a damp cloth, without any build-up of minerals. It also has Kohler’s premium finish to retain a long, enduring and unblemished polished chrome surface.
Converge, with its innovative 2-in-1 space-saving design is an exciting development for all those who love a luxurious, ultra-responsive shower but may have less space than they wish! The release of this product coincides with Kohler’s 145th anniversary – 145 years of ongoing revolutionary design and innovation for the bathroom.
Converge, with a recommended retail price of $199, is available nationally from major plumbing retailers. The shower arm is available separately at $79.
Celebrating its 145th year of producing some of the world’s most fashion-forward bathroom fixtures, Kohler presented a celebration of modernism at this year’s Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Fair).
Transforming Milan’s famed Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Kohler treated its audience to an experience that was both visually enticing and emotionally evocative.
Guests were taken on a journey through the entire spectrum of modernism – from minimalism to maximalism – via the lens of a series of artistic installations constructed from Kohler’s world wide products portfolio.
The ornate décor of the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi served as the perfect backdrop to a series of installations set in the grand rooms of the historic museum.
One of the highlights was the newly released ‘Dutchmaster’ sinks collection featuring bold embellishment in the form of large scale botanical patterns in a rich, dark, moody colour palette.
As a direct contrast the smart, sharp ‘Components’ tapware collection drew much attention. Exuding a strong, raw industrial aesthetic the taps feature a clean matte black finish. Other drawcards in the modernist oeuvre were the newly released Ombré finish and the DeStijl-inspired Kallista Grid tap. The latter is a feat of design and engineering, featuring a dramatic geometric silhouette created with cutting-edge 3D-printing technology.
A further element of Kohler’s visual feast was the very creative use of lighting to add a new and exciting dimension to a number of products. Its new Lighting Suite, for example, created for the organic Veil collection, magnified and enhanced the products – which included mirror, basin, vanity, bath and wall-hung vanity. Each piece was framed by an ambient glow that can change shade according to the user’s mood.
Curator of the exhibition, Mark Bickerstaffe, Kohler’s Director of New Product Development, Kitchen and Bath, said the installations demonstrated Kohler’s love and commitment to comprehensive and forward-thinking design. “From minimalism to maximalism, we love creativity in all its forms; and that has never been more apparent than with our new products”, said Bickerstaffe.