These days, clients want the day spa experience in their own home and they’re looking to the Japanese onsen and boutique design hotels for inspiration. But creating the quintessential bathroom isn’t as straightforward as replicating a widely held ideal. There’s no one-size-fits-all design solution because spaces need to be customised to clients’ needs, though architects and designers don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel each time. Contemporary bathroom design often relies on the same elements for a successful outcome, no matter the size, budget or scope.
Technology is one such element determining the functionality of today’s bathroom, with advancements in research and development producing even smarter features. A quick look through the Kohler catalogue reiterates this; the manufacturer’s Moxie showerhead, for example, incorporates a wireless speaker that syncs with Bluetooth enabled devices, while the Veil toilet integrates a bidet controlled by a one-touch remote control.
Bathroom products are now also being engineered with water-saving technologies. From selecting environmentally conscious features to conceptualising entire developments based around environmental, economic and social sustainability principles, issues of how to live better with less impact are coming to the forefront. Certainly, Breathe Architecture’s recently completed Nightingale 1 multi-residential building in Brunswick is a fine example of how to do sustainability well. With a NatHERS rating of 8.2 stars (out of a possible ten), the bathrooms are simply part of a bigger picture that boasts rainwater harvesting which is used in irrigation and common-area toilets, and 100 per cent fossil fuel free emissions.