Concept Design

Paul McAneary Architects  have explored a new innovative bathing experience. They have taken this bath design to the next generation of exclusive well-being experience at home: bathing becomes the unwinding moment following the daily routine, in a bathtub which combines function, relaxation and pleasure - a haven of well being.


The concept was to create a sustainable design in terms of waste, longevity and water consumption - at the same time achieving our in-house minimal design aesthetic. The combination of elegance, ergonomic functionality and sustainability makes the ‘Eco-finity Screen Spa-th’ a perfect icon of luxurious modernity, in line with Kaldewei’s core values of style, quality and innovation using its 3.5mm steel enamel with a self cleaning surface finish.


The resulting design provides an experience of function and pleasure combined in perfect harmony. Because water touches our body in a way that no other element does, it enables us to escape from every day life and relax. The new design provides the greatest facilitator of relaxation at home.


The design incorporates the following features and efficient solutions:


Aesthetic Appeal

Paul McAneary Architects have aimed to develop a bath design, which unlike short lived trends is based on a design process, driven by sensitivity to the given context and deep understanding of the requirements, other than by a predetermined style. Inspired by the minimal modernist architecture l tradition and style, Paul McAneary Architects promote a new design language where the least number of lines and details, the pureness of forms and the use of warm natural materials create peaceful sustainable and solid designs.


Ergonomics

In response to the varying requirements to differential user’s physiognomy there are two separate control panels, one hand held waterproof device as well as the touch screen panel within the screen surrounding the bathtub. The filler control can be operated from a distance even another space in the same building.


The bathtub and inner bottom level are based on Kaldewei’s proportions and dimensions, developed and established over time. Further, the distance of the inner bathtub from the edge, the space within the bathtub for standing and seating are based on standard requirements.The concealed 360o grab rail has been incorporated in the design, around the entire top edge of the bathtub providing accessibility also for the less abled. Grab rails that are expressed, are often poor aesthetic elements . This important functional element is resolved with the best minimal detailing through hiding within the rim of the bath, through a fold in the steel.


The width and the slip resistant surface finish to the 3.5mm steel enamel at the bottom of the bathtub, provides a safe platform for stepping in and out of the bath tub as well as for standing.


Sustainability

The control option for the water temperature allows for the correct and exact required water temperature, without having to drain excess hot water. Further the overflow and used water is stored within the bottom of the bathtub until filtered and recycled by being reused for flushing toilets. The integrated Eco water filter pump prepares and pumps the bathwater for reuse. The tank, apart from collecting the water, also stores the embodied heat energy in the bath water. As a result the bath water takes much longer than in a conventional bathtub to cool down. As a result less hot water is required to maintain a certain water temperature.


Detail

The integrated over flow surrounding the entire bath tub creates the infinity effect, where no visible edge and therefore no boundary to the surface of the water is visible. The infinity detail has been incorporated in the design of many swimming pools and Paul McAneary Architects have now achieved the same detail with their bathtub design. The overflow and drain detail within the vertical surrounding of the bathtub, collect the overflowing water and direct it into the collection tank below and around the bathtub.


The bath is filled by an integrated waterfall spout which is flushed into the side of the bath. The output pressure is designed to compensate for water pressure within the bath tub and will function when the water level is above the level of the spout. The mixed water inlet is also preventively fitted with a non-return value.





Screen

The TOLED display screen sits within the walls of the bathtub. It can be raised and lowered with a double tap of the hand much like the familiar double mouse click. In an emergency following

the tap on the ‘360o screen’, the screen is dropped in a secure way and the person within the bathtub can step out of the tub immediately- an important feature required to comply with current Health and Safety Standards. The screen is raised and lowered through an innovative hydraulic system, which allows for a very smooth movement of the four glazed screen panels.


The technology integrated in the bathtub can be controlled via a handheld device or the touch screen. Further access via WIFI lets the user access a control network and the screen can be used as computer or TV screen. The screen’s new TOLDE technology is based on frameless, toughened and laminated glass layers in four sections. Within the build up of the glass is an integrated, invisible woven metal mesh which heats up the screen to avoid condensation on its surface and also should the glass screen be damaged keeps the glass pieces together so they do not cause any injury.

The screen itself is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compounds, which emit light in response to an electric current. This layer of organic semiconductor material is situated between two electrodes both of which are clear.TOLED was developed by the military and today is an emerging technology that is being used for television screens, computer monitors, portable system screens such as mobile phones and PDAs, watches, advertising, information, and indication.

Though the display screen can be thinner and lighter than liquid costal displays it has been kept to 20mm thickness for Health and Safety reasons, whilst maintaining the frameless minimal detail to the edge of the glass.


The screen is divided into four screens which can be combined into one large, 360o screen. The screens around the bathtub can be used for a ‘Head-up-display’, where the displayed image/information does not require the users to look away from their current viewpoint. This technology was first used for pilots and now a semi-transparent screen has made it to the home. The remaining two screens, on either side can be used independently, displaying computer or phone ‘apps’ such as stock market developments or weather forecasts, while the user is watching the news or the latest films.

The advanced sound system required for TV/film display and music is controlled through the integrated WIFI technology and is linked to speakers that are recessed into the bathroom ceiling.


Therapy

TOLED screens can also be used as light sources for space illumination. To address ‘Seasonable Affective Disorder’(SAD), these properties are used for the integrated colour therapy treatment. Light therapy consists of exposure to light of specific wavelengths. In medical environments the light is administered for a prescribed amount of time and, in some cases, at a specific time of day. The light can also be used for the treatment of skin, pain management, accelerated wound healing, and improvement in blood circulation. The main light spectrums used for the therapy are red, green and blue. Due to the TOLED technology the number of colours is unlimited.


Conclusion

For years we have enjoyed infinity pools at spa’s and 5* hotels. The high quality infinity design detail is assimilated with luxury. The apparent waste of having an overflowing bath would make this detail inappropriate for the home of the 21st century. The application of the recycling tank, that filters and recovers all used water for toilet flushing, etc. makes the infinity detail more than appropriate. The luxury of the infinity pool is now ecologically designed, hence ‘Eco- finity’ and the spa comes home to our bathrooms and the ‘Spa-th’ is now a reality. The 360o grab rail is fully concealed, providing a practical and elegant minimal solution to this longstanding design issue.


The Eco-finity Spa-th was conceived as part of the ‘Kaldewei Iconic Concepts Design Competition 2011’.

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