Individualisation in hotel bathrooms.

An article by Thomas Edelmann.

AXOR Talk at the ISH

The AXOR Talk. Individualisation megatrend.

During the second AXOR Talk at the ISH, Jeanette Huber from the Zukunftsinstitut, Frankfurt-based architect Bernd Hollin and Eva Herrmann, Manager of Düsseldorf boutique hotel "The Fritz" discussed the challenges associated with individualisation. The talk focused on hotel bathrooms.

Journalist and design critic Thomas Edelmann was in the audience. His article sums up the different perspectives of the three panellists.

AXOR Bathroom Discussion at the ISH.

Implications of individualisation.

Huber outlined the biographical significance of social change and concluded that: “Individualisation changes our life stories”, and in terms of architecture and housing she claimed: “We no longer need perfect monofunctionality, we need modular adaptability. In bathrooms too.”

Opportunities presented by individualisation.

Architect Hollin pointed at the possibility of "evoking worlds via structural substance" and showed examples from his long-term collaboration with Lufthansa, for whom he designed his business lounges and first class sections in the A380.

Architect Bernd Hollin at the AXOR Talk.
Eva Herrmann, Manager of the hotel

A question of economic viability.

"In your view, where is design no longer tailor-made, and where is it being elevated?" the moderator asked Hotel Manager Herrmann. She associates this with economic viability. "If it gets too expensive, the hotel sector is no longer interested in it. It’s not one bathroom that’s being built, but multiple bathrooms. At our establishment there are only 31, but in large buildings with up to 400 bathrooms, the budget is the deciding factor."

Interior design provides differentiation.

To stand out from the competitors, Herrmann "gave priority to the design" at her establishment. The interior design is by Dutch designer Vivian van Schagen, and is dominated by wood and marble. The rooms feature black, white and gold, with glossy gold AXOR mixers in the bathroom.

© Soenne Fotografie

Bathroom and bedroom at the hotel
Futurologist Jeanette Huber.

Little details provide the feel-good factor.

Futurologist Huber further specified: comfort and high-tech are what people want. She insists that a loss of control vis-à-vis technology is not acceptable. "We need something akin to human-like technology, which operates in the background." It’s a bit like the Anglo-Saxon concept of the butler who, despite PR promises to the contrary, is still nowhere near finding a digital successor.

"Conflict between individualisation and identity".

Architect Hollin is more interested in the "conflict between individualisation and identity", because he builds spaces for brands which, apart from brand differentiation via surface finishes, also rely on the recognition of the brand platform.

Architect Hollin discusses.
Restaurant at the hotel

The feel-good factor at all levels.

For Hotel Manager Eva Herrmann, with regard to her luxury amenities, reliable usability is essential. "Our aim was to build something that is high quality, but in no way boringly traditional, something that is elegant and has humour." For her, the new sustainability is the old durability.

© Soenne Fotografie