Posted 23rd March

Our top five bathroom picks from ISH 2019

23rd March 2019 - 11:00am

Earlier this month, around 190,000 visitors from 161 countries descended on the Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre to find out what bathroom companies had on offer at the 2019 edition of bathroom trade fair ISH.

More than 2,500 exhibitors showcased new and exciting products over the show’s five days, with companies like Victoria + Albert Baths bringing a splash of colour to the bathroom while Grohe took us into the future of bathroom design with breathtaking 3D-printed taps.

We’ve put together our top five favourites of the new products that were unveiled at ISH, including a new circular freestanding bath from Bette, organic-yet-architectural range from Vitra, and design-led reimagining of a classic collection from Ideal Standard. Keep on reading…

1. Vitra merges organic shapes and urban architecture with new collection

Vitra teamed up with Italian architect and designer Claudio Bellini to launch its new bathroom collection, Equal, at ISH 2019. According to the bathroom manufacturer, Equal “explores the fusion between the organic shapes found in nature with the architectural lines present in an urban environment”.

Bellini reimagined the modern bathroom “through an architectural lens” for Equal, which comes in monochrome hues and metallic finishes. It uses repeated geometric shapes and features the option to incorporate accessories such as a suspended towel rail and LED lighting.

The company said the aim of the new collection was to “maintain the illusion of fluidity” through the use of “pure shapes and seamless joints”. The smooth edges of the products mimic the natural cavities found in lakes “alongside more structured lines to ground the aesthetic” and explore the synthesis between manmade structures and shapes found in nature.

“Through this partnership with Claudio Bellini, VitrA were able to approach bathroom furniture from new, architectural perspective,” said Vitra design director Erdem Akan. “Focusing on structure and shape, we were able to explore innovative design concepts that have developed into a stylish and functional collection.”

Equal collection highlights

  • Bathroom furniture (available in Elm and Patterned Black Oak): floating vanity (available wall-mounted, countertop and double bowl); storage units (available in 45cm, 60cm, 80cm and 100cm)
  • Washbasin (available with towel rail, wooden cover and shelf accessories)
  • Wall-hung WC with Rim-Ex technology
  • Wall-hung bidet
  • Brassware
  • Mirrors (illuminated; available in 43cm, 60cm and 80cm)
  • Designed by Claudio Bellini
  • Geometric shapes
  • Minimalist design
  • Metallic finishes
  • Industrial accents

2. Bette takes the plunge with new circular Pond Silhouette bath

German bathroom product manufacturer Bette made a splash at ISH 2019 with its new BettePond Silhouette circular freestanding bath. Designed by Dominik Tesseraux, the glazed titanium steel tub has a 150cm diameter and “is the perfect place for quiet contemplation and slowing down in everyday life”, Bette said.

The company also showcased its new BetteCraft washbasin, which received the Design Plus Award 2019 at the trade fair and was designed by Tesseraux + Partner. Bette said the “flawless and artistic” basin “creates the impression of Chinese porcelain”, but is made from the company’s glazed titanium steel.

The basin – which has a rounded shape that tapers towards the top and bottom – is handcrafted and glazed on both the inside and outside. It’s available in two sizes and a range of colours, including exclusive matt shades and the company’s new Effect colours.

Lastly, the company used ISH 2019 to showcase its new BetteSpace collection, a range of three baths in trapezoid shapes to “make intelligent use of the space in small and medium-sized bathrooms”. The range includes the BetteSpace S, bath and shower combination BetteSpace M, and side-by-side two-seater BetteSpace L.

BettePond Silhouette bath highlights

  • Glazed titanium steel
  • Freestanding
  • Designed by Dominik Tesseraux
  • 150cm diameter

BetteCraft washbasin highlights

  • Glazed titanium steel
  • Handcrafted
  • Designed by Tesseraux + Partner
  • Available in 350mm and 450mm diameter
  • Available in a range of colours, including exclusive matt shades and the new Effect colours (including Midnight, Blue Satin and Forest)

BetteSpace bath highlights

  • Glazed titanium steel
  • Trapezoid shape
  • Ideal for small and medium-sized bathrooms
  • Available in three options
  • 30-year warranty

3. Victoria + Albert Baths celebrates colour with new RAL offering

Victoria + Albert Baths went for vibrancy at ISH this year, giving its first-ever preview of its new RAL colour offering which gives customers “greater variety than ever before”.

The 194 colours are available for the brand’s entire portfolio of modern and traditional baths and basins, with a choice of either gloss or matt finishes, meaning customers have more than 28,000 different variants to choose from.

At the show, the company also previewed its new Taizu bath, designed in collaboration with Hong Kong-based architect and designer Steve Leung with a “spa style in mind”. Victoria + Albert Baths hosted an exclusive interview with Leung at the show to discuss his inspiration behind the bath.

RAL colour offering highlights

  • 194 colours (in collections of reds; oranges; yellows, including RAL 1007 Daffodil Yellow, pictured right; greens, including RAL Gloss 6005 Moss Green, pictured above; blues; purples; pinks; browns; whites; greys; and blacks)
  • Available in gloss or matt finish

Taizu bath highlights

  • Quarrycast
  • Designed by Steve Leung
  • 25-year consumer guarantee, eight-year commercial guarantee
  • Scratch- and stain-resistant
  • Lightweight

4. Grohe ‘shapes the future of water’ with 3D-printed taps

Grohe took the opportunity at ISH 2019 to showcase its advancements in technology for bathroom design, unveiling its new Atrio Icon 3D, pictured left, and Allure Brilliant Icon 3D, pictured below, taps that have been created using 3D metal-printing technology.

Grohe said it is the first European sanitary brand to offer 3D metal-printed taps, adding that the use of the manufacturing process removes “traditional design and technology constraints to create limitless design options”.

The company said the taps offer a “new interactive experience of water”, with Atrio Icon 3D’s ultra-thin walls and Allure Brilliant Icon 3D’s hollow interior making the water flow “look like a magical optical illusion”.

“At Grohe, we believe that something completely new needs a bold vision,” said Grohe AG design vice president Michael Seum. “What is possible or not possible becomes a question of perspective. With Icon 3D we are opening up a completely new way of thinking about product design in the future.

“We overcome boundaries by using 3D metal-printing to create products that at first appear impossible. This production method offers the option to design faucets in small quantities according to the wishes of our customers. There are no limits set for individual personalisation.”

The components for the Icon 3D taps are produced by printing metal using a powder bed laser melting process, with each component consisting of around 4,700 layers that are each 0.06mm thick. After printing, components are mechanically treated on a CNC milling machine, then finished with a manual grinding and fine brushing procedure.

Grohe said each product is unique, and the limited edition tap collections will have only a few pieces per year. Both taps are available in a brushed raw steel finish and will be available on request as an “exclusive piece” for the bathroom from April 2019.

Grohe Atrio and Allure Brilliant Icon 3D tap highlights

  • 3D metal printing technology
  • Limited edition
  • Ultra-thin walls
  • Hollow interior
  • 1-1.5mm wall thickness

5. Ideal Standard looks to conquer the new era of design with Conca collection

Ideal Standard made its mark at ISH 2019 by unveiling its new Conca collection with renowned design studio Palomba Serafini Associati. The collaboration is the result of an exclusive long-term partnership with Ludovica + Roberto Palomba which the company said marks the start of a “new era of design”.

The Conca series was originally designed for Ideal Standard by Master designer Paolo Tilche in 1972. The Palombas have reimagined the collection in a contemporary setting, keeping the original design’s “geometries and sensual details”.

The collection comprises a series of basins complemented by two “distinct” series of taps designed by Ludovica + Robert Palomba, as well as the Blend toilet and bidet range, and Conca freestanding bath tub. The design duo also created a new colour palette for Ideal Standard’s ceramics and taps ranges.

“Taking on an iconic design like Conca from a Master designer I have admired since I started my career is both exciting and scary,” said Roberto Palomba. “I am extremely proud of the result and believe we were able to create a piece that fits today’s trends while retaining its unique, sophisticated character.”

Conca highlights

  • Designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • Washbasins (available wall-hung or integrated): Conca (minimalistic square design); Extra (sharp-edged square design)
  • Blend Curve WC and bidet (neutral round design; available wall-hung or back-to-wall; features AquaBlade flushing technology)
  • Taps: Check (wide, square design; flat basin mixer; thin handle); Joy (available with three different handles)
  • Flush plate ranges: Altes (ceramic, ‘silky’ finish); Symfo (tempered glass, minimalist and borderless design)
  • New colour palette (10 new ceramic colours, including Black Gloss, Slate Grey, Kashmir, Sage and Pomegranate)

The next edition of ISH will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 22nd-26th March 2021

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