At HPA, we love bathrooms. We put great effort into their design and also tell clients our process. For example, if we are spending ‘x’ number of hours to design a house, it takes us double or triple the time to design a single bathroom. So five bathrooms in a home translates to five projects. Having been an architect for 25 years, I believe in understanding the design of certain spaces. I have worked across structures - homes, apartments, offices - and know
the psychological way of designing and using a home. Going to the bathroom and spending time there is not just a function anymore, but is a ritual of rejuvenating yourself.
Bath spaces have become especially important today due to the psychological aspect attached to them. It is viewed as a space where people get peace of mind and a sense of calm, similar to a spa. Our challenge lies in how to give clients this within a span of a 3-minute shower. We ask the people at our office how they use this space and design bathspaces for our clients accordingly.
A bathroom is the most premium space in residential living and a lot of research goes into its design. And companies like Kohler are working towards creating an experience in a bath space, which is why they have become the hotspots of a home. Because clients are now exposed to a wider range of products by sanitary ware companies (showers, water jets, etc.), a bathroom is now a luxury product, akin to a car. With our economy growing, people are now willing to spend more and that is a welcome change. Going forward, I see the trend moving towards larger bathrooms. We now tend to encroach on the space allotted for the bedroom to ensure clients get a larger bath space.
As far as colours go, white and chrome have been premium due to the hygiene aspect associated with them. Indians are conscious about hygiene and since our homes are prone to dust, we now have WCs and basins that are easy to clean. I suggest people opt for nickel and brass finishes as they are easier to maintain.
What I would like to see in the future are tech-enabled bathrooms with features such as therapeutic mood showers that are equipped with light and music. Indians are water-conscious and don’t spend more than 10 minutes for a shower so we need to look at how to make those few minutes relaxing. Smart sensors that sense body movements and release water accordingly is an innovation that excites me. If people are ensured the water in their shower is recycled or going back to the earth, they will not feel guilty in using tech.
In order to create a synergy between technology and design, companies into R&D must work in tandem with designers. Workshops must be organised to get ideas from designers and using these trends, companies must research and get back to us with data. This will help us design better.
Guest Blogger: Hiren Patel
In architectural practice since 1989, I have gone through several ups and downs, small ones and big ones… growing with every challenge …adapting to prevailing conditions to tide me through the worst crisis. This journey has taught me through wonderful experience to introspect about the intricate idiom with ease.
In my quest for excellence, I have poured into my work passion, commitment, wholehearted enthusiasm, hope and my energy and I hope to maintain such a level of integrity and commitment in all my work as long as I live.
Hiren Patel architects started out as a small firm that has grown exponentially by accepting every challenge that came it's way. Our initial success came from designing high rises in Ahmedabad, our base. Thereafter, we have not looked back by aiming ever higher.
Today our pallet of work covers everything from a small residence to heritage buildings and palaces to huge entertainment complexes, from an individual shop to large commercial megaliths. But the driving force behind the success has always been the openness to continuous learning, the sheer joy and pride in our work, and embracing change as the only constant in life.