In his new architecture concept, Michael Sieger has turned his attention to the modern premium bathroom and the way it reflects societal trends. More and more people are moving into cities, resulting in increasing scarcity of living space and rising apartment prices. But at the same time, there’s increasing demand for enhanced quality of life. The “Small Size Premium Spa”, SSPS® for short, fulfils all the standards of a luxury spa in a compact area of approx. 6m2.
As designers, Michael Sieger and his team carefully observe society and its needs, seeing themselves as seismometers that detect overarching trends. Of particular importance in this regard are demographic change and global trends, which require the industry to develop potential new solutions in advance. The effects of urbanisation can be felt across the globe, with cities acting as magnets to more and more people. A look back over the previous century puts this development into focus. Whereas around 29% of the world’s population lived in cities back in 1950 (0.73 billion people), this figure rose to 51% by 2010 (3.5 billion). By 2050, it is set to reach 70% (6.8 billion).
What’s more, rural exodus is no longer regarded as the primary cause, but the shift is being increasingly attributed to natural population growth. The result is vertical construction, with living space becoming smaller and more expensive. In parts of New York or Berlin, for example, the prices per square metre have more or less doubled over the past few years. The demands placed on apartments and bathroom design are high – and increasing all the time as space becomes ever scarcer. The bathroom is becoming ever more important as a part of overall living space. Not only does it serve to prevent illness and boost quality of life, but it is also becoming more and more of a refuge – a place to refresh and revitalise.
A feeling of spaciousness in a minimum of space – with numerous individual usage options, the SSPS® concept meets the highest standards in terms of comfort, functionality and enhanced quality of life. The “Small Size Premium Spa” concept is based on a carefully designed zone architecture and a functional arrangement of elements. The spacious wet zone, measuring approx. 3.5m2, is only separated from the dry zone by a glass screen. The two zones create a spacious and harmonious ambience.
The concept, which won the 2015 German Iconic Award, can be reinterpreted in a variety of designs, styles, features, materials, surfaces and colours. In the “Broadening Horizons” interpretation of SSPS®, preconfigured scenarios incorporate not just elements like fragrance and sound, but the entire architecture of the room. Flat surfaces act as a canvas for lighting effects and moving images that are controlled by a comprehensive light control system, creating an emotional ambience.
At the heart of the vertical shower concept is its use of several water outlets, which can be controlled either collectively or individually. The type of water jet and the amount, pressure and temperature of the water can all be individually adjusted, or you can simply leave it all to be choreographed automatically by pre-programmed settings. With the additional rain panel, water cascades down from across a large surface through the power of gravity alone.
As well as a classic shower, innovative functions and regenerative treatments can be integrated into the bathroom using cutting-edge electronics. The system’s open architecture allows the bathroom fittings themselves to become an interface to further customise the shower’s use of water. For instance, there are outlets at leg height to automatically spray invigorating jets of water onto the lower legs. The combination of temperature and water has positive effects on fitness, well-being and the immune system. The water is deliberately allowed to accumulate, creating a unique tactile and acoustic sensation as the feet are caressed by warm water.
The integrated rain panels in the ceiling bring the world of nature indoors. The arrangement of the nozzles is modelled on rainfall, enabling a unique shower experience for the body, mind and soul. Furthermore, additional elements can be added to enable various soothing and regenerative sensual experiences, incorporating the preconfigured scenarios of light, fragrance and sound. Just like a steam bath, these also help prevent illness and maintain and promote health.
Products and solutions featured in the visualisations include the bathroom fittings technology Ambiance Tuning Technique (ATT) by Dornbracht.
Shower lying down – the Horizontal Shower recuperative function makes the bathroom an even more ideal location for relaxation. Spas across the world offer people a place to recharge their batteries, where water applications are often combined with massage for various types of treatment. This is where the concept has its origins.
In contrast to standard vertical showers, the Horizontal Shower is experienced while lying down. The water jets either fall as an invigorating massage with variable temperature, or like a refreshing rain shower, either with waves of water jets or as a gentle spray. From the soles of the feet to the shoulders, all parts of the body are showered either in the same or in opposing directions via six horizontal outlets, or WaterBars, which are located above the heated body support area.
You can choose between three pre-programmed settings, which use different types of water jet. The Balancing, Energizing and De-Stressing settings combine various jets and regulate them depending on the amount, jet strength and temperature of the water. The central eTool control panel is integrated into the upper part of the body support area.
The functional Water Module outlets support processes and allow treatment rooms to be individually configured. This enables different treatments in the smallest of spaces – in both the wet and dry zones.
Concept development kicked off with comprehensive market research based on people's real-life experiences – how they spend their time in the bathroom and what sorts of wants and needs they have, be they related to hygiene, beauty or well-being. For instance, a pouring pipe with laminar spray integrated into the bench in the wet zone enables recuperative treatments. Alternating-temperature part-body showers and knee showers have proven their worth in promoting circulation and stimulating metabolism.
According to your individual needs, functionally optimised outlets are integrated in the dry zone. A fixed spout can be swivelled by up to 180 degrees thanks to a rotatable aerator. It is ideally suited for filling up an oral irrigator. A flexible, detachable shower with textile sleeving is convenient for washing hair at the washbasin. It can be positioned on either side for left or right-handed individuals respectively.
A bathtub and foot bath fit precisely into the spacious wet zone. And they simply need to be covered to provide a seat for other regenerative treatments or a space where users can take a shower lying down.
A foot bath with special water nozzles promises relaxation and positive effects in line with the ideals of Sebastian Kneipp. Studies show that showering the knees or other individual parts of the body in cold water improves blood flow and stimulates the metabolism and circulation, triggering positive effects throughout the entire body. It is also possible to configure automatic scenarios that include these treatments. The pouring pipe with a laminar spray features a thermally decoupled handle, making it safe and easy to use while taking a foot bath.
Products and solutions featured in the visualisations include Dornbracht's FOOT BATHATT and Smart Water concept.
Connectivity simplifies processes and increases convenience. All products are fully networked, enabling settings to be comprehensively configured to suit people’s requirements either ahead of time or spontaneously via an app from wherever they happen to be.
Innovative technologies prove their mettle by facilitating processes or creating unique experiences. The bathroom settings integrate diverse elements – water, light, fragrance and sound. If desired, digitalisation allows daily harmonisation to people’s needs, according to the weather, their schedule and their personal mood.
Smart Water enables the user to navigate different kinds of water supply. To this end, the concept brings together two Smart Tools: a precision display switch to control outlets, scenarios and ambient factors such as fragrance, and minimalist dials that can either be used to adjust the water’s temperature or regulate the amount. When combined, these tools allow for preset or individual choreographies in the shower, in the footbath or at other points where water comes into play. The system is easy to use for a wide range of users – whether short or tall, young or old. And this was one of the defining aims of the interface.
Products and solutions featured in the visualisations include Dornbracht’s Smart Water concept and app visualisations by sieger design.
The clear separation into a dry and a wet zone makes it easier for more than one person to use the bathroom at once. Optionally, a double washbasin with plenty of space can be integrated. The mirrors and glass surfaces convey a sense of openness and space.
The washbasin design can be tailored to different requirements and stylistic preferences, with lots of options including freestanding, recessed, countertop or bowl basins. In combination with furniture elements, they create a lot of storage space in a compact area. The bathroom can be used by two people at once – for example, at the same time as a partner or family member.
Products and solutions featured in the visualisations include the Unisono basin by Alape, the Tara. fitting series by Dornbracht and products from the Happy D.2 bathroom series by Duravit.
A shower toilet with integrated bidet function is both comfortable and convenient. Washing with pure water and individual washing/temperature settings meet hygiene and cleanliness requirements.
In order to conceal the function and create a convenient seat/shelf, the toilet can be integrated into a practical bench, while toilet accessories can be stored in drawers or pull-outs.
Depending on how the room is used and how the elements are arranged, the toilet is positioned so that if the door opens it doesn’t touch the user but conceals them from view instead.
Products and solutions featured in the visualisations include SensoWash® i and the compact toilet from the Happy D.2 series by Duravit.
Despite the limited space of just over 6m2, the room offers a range of usage options – including for two people. This applies in particular to the generous and luxurious shower area, which is separated from the rest of the space on two sides by a glass barrier. The bathroom flows visually into the sleeping area, enabling daylight to enter. If necessary, a curtain can be drawn. SSPS® features both a vertical 1 and a horizontal shower 2. Since the innovative shower applications make it just as comfortable to shower lying down as to take a bath, there’s no need for a bathtub. If a bathtub is expressly required, it can be precisely integrated (in combination with a footbath, for example) and covered when necessary so that it can be used as a seat 4. An integrated shower tube with a laminar water flow enables a variety of additional regenerative applications 3. Right from the ceiling down, minimalist design maximises the quality of the user experience. With an integrated rain panel, the water comes down as though from the sky. A steam bath and other scenarios help to prevent illness and to maintain and promote health.
The "dry zone" is also characterised by minimalist design and a high level of functionality. Specialist discharge points can be positioned at the double washbasin 6: an extendible sprinkler head that can be used, for example, to wash hair; a tube for applying water to individual parts of the body; and a fixed outlet that can be used in conjunction with a 180-degree aerator jet for oral irrigation 3. The display 5 integrated in the mirror or cabinet front allows users to individually control outlets and scenarios that incorporate the entire room. A shower toilet offers a high level of convenience 7.
For well-being, it takes a lighting concept that creates a pleasant atmosphere whilst delivering the brightness necessary for day-to-day activities, e.g. the application of make-up. In windowless rooms in particular, light is vital and connects with our senses on various levels. LED technology opens up whole new possibilities. Integrated strip lights and spotlights create the perfect mood in accordance with the user’s personal preferences. They can be operated in line with the various scenarios or set to adjust themselves automatically.
In the “Broadening Horizons” interpretation, the bathroom becomes a unified whole with an intelligent spatial architecture that creates an emotional ambience. The large screen acts as a virtual window, which can optionally display a live camera feed of the surroundings and produce an atmosphere that harmonises with changes in the natural light outside. Through its impact on our body clock and circadian rhythm, this function promotes inner balance. The intelligent architecture includes sophisticated light control. Throughout the bathroom, there are flat surfaces that neatly house the functional options and act as a canvas for individual scenarios like the invigorating rainfall scenario.
The mission statement of sieger design is to develop brand concepts and products with a unique selling point that are distinctive and success-oriented. The design agency has been driving significant trends in the sanitary industry since the early 1980s and has been the innovative force behind many types of product: the first designer bathroom fittings, holistic bathroom collections, expansive rain effect systems and scenario-controlled showers.
At Harkotten Castle, the design process is managed by an interdisciplinary team of around 45 employees. Working on behalf of partners in the industry such as Dornbracht, Alape and Duravit as well as a host of other international brands, the company develops holistic strategies and designs that are based on scientifically sound analysis and visionary thinking.
Michael Sieger and his team work with the utmost sensitivity, an eye for timeless, often archetypal forms and a keen understanding of functionality, innovation and sustainability. He has received numerous international design awards in recognition of his unique instinct for trends and long-term developments. Together with his brother Christian, he manages the successful family business sieger design, now in its second generation.
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