Eco Finity Screen Spa-th

Eco Finity Screen Spa-th

A key aspect of Paul McAneary Architects’s work focuses on design and product development, reconceptualising elements and components from the standpoints of performance, appearance and experience. The design of an apparently simple element such as a bath can contribute enormously to the experience of bathing, stimulating the senses and heightening feelings of pleasure. Water interacts with the body in a particular way and a well-designed bathroom constitutes a tranquil, healthful refuge from the cares of everyday life.

The concept for Paul McAneary Architects’s ‘Eco Finity Screen Spa-th’ is based on sustainable design in terms of water consumption, energy use and recycling. At the same time, it explores a language of ergonomic efficiency and elegant refinement, in keeping with Paul McAneary Architects’s signature aesthetic of sensual, modern minimalism. The aim is to develop a radical new kind of bathtub underscored by sensitivity to function and the quest for pure form, rather than be driven by a predetermined style.

Conceived in response to a design competition staged by German manufacturer Kaldewei, Paul McAneary Architects devised a luxurious infinity bathtub that incorporates an LED display for use as a computer or TV screen. Incorporated within the walls of the tub it can be raised and lowered through an innovative hydraulic system, activated by the tap of a hand. Originally developed by the military, the screen’s TOLED technology is based on frameless, toughened and laminated glass in four sections. Within the layers an integrated, invisible woven metal mesh heats up the screen to prevent condensation on its surface. It also holds the glass in place if it should be damaged.

The elegant, frameless glass screen is divided into four sub-screens that can be combined into a single 360 degree display, offering the potential to watch a film while keeping track of the news or stock market developments. An advanced sound system controlled through integrated WIFI technology is linked to speakers recessed into the bathroom ceiling. The screen can also be used as a light source for illumination to conjure different atmospheres, and its healing qualities can play a role in mental and physical therapy.

Sybaritic delight is tempered with an attention to detail and an ecological reponsiveness. The silky smooth steel enamel surface has a self-cleaning finish. An integrated overflow detail creates a seductive, infinity pool effect, familiar in high-end swimming pools, but here ingeniously reprised and adapted for a domestic context. The overflow is collected in a tank below the bathtub, until it is filtered and recycled in the WC. An integrated water filter pumps and prepares the water for recycling. The tank also acts as a heat reservoir, storing embodied energy, so that the bath maintains an even temperature for longer, with less hot water required to keep it topped up.

Today, bathing extends beyond the basic requirements of hygiene and is elevated into a ritual of comfort and relaxation, infusing body and mind with a feeling of wellness. Through its pioneering and sensual design, the Eco Finity Screen Spa-th takes this to a dynamic new level. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Date 2011

Design Team Paul McAneary Architects