Many of us still struggle to find the time, freedom and sanctuary we need to recover from the stresses of everyday life. Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, explores the role architects and designers have to play in sensory bathroom design for hotels.

Good design is increasingly less about how spaces look and more about how they make us feel - seeking to improve both mental and physical wellbeing through a multi-sensory approach. And where better to help restore the natural balance of our sensory system than in the bathroom, so often a place of sanctuary and rest.

Reimagining hotel

bathroom spaces The modern bathroom or washroom should not be designed as a purely functional zone, but as a relaxing space to unwind, combining clever product innovations and intelligent design with nature-inspired materials and textures which help to restore the natural balance of our senses. Remember, hotel bathroom spaces are not restricted to guest bedrooms – the lobby, bar, restaurant and leisure facilities will all have washrooms which need equally careful design.

“As the trend for selling ‘experiences’ and creating an

escapism for guests continues, so too does the value of creating a

unique, positive guest experience to help build stronger memories.”

Key to this is biophilic design, an increasingly popular approach which covers everything from surfaces and design choices, to air quality, ventilation, acoustics and lighting, creating valuable opportunities to deliver sensory spaces.

Bathroom solutions To do this, designers must first understand the four key senses of auditory (sound), visual (sight), kinaesthetic (touch) and olfactory (smell) and the impact they have on our wellbeing, before applying this understanding to specify the bathroom technologies and innovations that can help reduce the impact of each.

Take auditory, for example. Architects have a role to play in minimising noise in any space and even behind the wall, especially in hotel projects, by taking advantage of product developments such as acoustically optimised


pipework with noise reducing properties and decoupled pre-walls. These innovative sound-proofing solutions help to mitigate the age-old issue of noise from flushing toilets, contributing to a better sensory experience for those in the room and in adjoining rooms too.

Preventing overstimulation of the visual sense can be achieved through orientation lighting, which helps preserve the sanctuary of sleep by eliminating the need to switch on additional lighting, or by innovative storage solutions, which support decluttering to instill a sense of calm in the bathroom.

Manufacturers have also developed solutions to support designers in meeting kinaesthetic demands, such as clean lines,

sleek corners and the use of natural materials, as well

as olfactory solutions – most notably modern, efficient odour extraction technologies.

A sector-specific approach These are just a small selection of the technologies and products available, of course. The key is in finding the solutions you need to meet the individual demands of the hotel sector.

As the trend for selling ‘experiences’ and creating an escapism for guests continues, so too does the value of creating a unique, positive guest experience to help build stronger memories and ensure customers keep coming back. Open-plan bedroom-bathroom layouts are also giving designers added cause for thought, as more and more venues seek to morph spaces within the guest rooms to create the ultimate setting for rest and recuperation.

These trends and others identified in Geberit’s new white paper – together with the challenges they collectively pose - are shaping the way in which designers approach hotel bathroom and washroom projects. From acoustic pipework and hygienic touch-free flush plates, to modern bathroom collections made from natural materials, there are a wealth of options that can be incorporated into the overall design of the space.

Download Geberit’s new white paper: The Science Behind the Sensory Space

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