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10th Sep 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Accessible Bathrooms: future planning for all generations

Consoles with built-in or countertop basins, such as the X-Large bathroom furniture series by Duravit, provide legroom for comfortable use of the washing area, even when seated.

Today’s comfort bathrooms are planned with foresight and without compromising on design and technical innovation. Whether through flush-fitting shower trays or generous and barrier-free room planning: What increases convenience and comfort in younger years, later also enables independence and quality of life in the bathroom for elderly users. In this way, the timelessly modern generation bathroom becomes a flexible companion in all phases of life. Comfort, flexibility and safety can exist alongside sophisticated design in a welcoming atmosphere.

Design and functionality: Variety at the washing area

The washing area is the central functional area of the bathroom. It is in frequent use and has therefore to be easily accessible from the front. It should also be safe to use without losing its attractiveness. The ideal solution: consoles, e.g. from the Duravit X-Large program with built-in or countertop basins that provide legroom for comfortable use of the washing area, even when seated.

In addition, above-counter basins allow a raised washing position. Thanks to ample storage areas, all care products can be kept within easy reach. With the appropriate washbasin width, side base cabinets are available with a choice of one or two drawers for practical storage space. These are optionally equipped with a high-quality furnishing system in maple or walnut.

From wood decors and high-gloss varnishes to real-wood veneers, the practical consoles also offer lots of different possibilities for creating an individual look.

Particularly flat washbasins, such as the Duravit Vero washbasin that is just 165 mm high, are comfortable to use when seated. Available in widths of 50, 60, 70 or 80 cm, they do not take up lots of space. The same applies to the Vital models in the D-Code, DuraStyle, Starck 3 or Architec series that also meet current DIN standards 18024/II and 18025/I+II for barrier-free bathrooms and are wheelchair-accessible.

For an optimum effect, mirrors and shelves should be easily accessible or moveable from different heights.

Comfortable & hygienic: solutions for the toilet

Even those with slightly reduced mobility may find it difficult to use the toilet. The Duravit SensoWash® Slim and SensoWash® Starck f shower toilets provide great convenience. The shower-toilets are also suitable for people with restricted mobility and really facilitate hygiene: a stainless steel spray arm with three shower types performs the function of a bidet. Operation is easy via remote control.

The height of the seat is also crucial for optimum comfort when using the toilet. The Starck 3 wall-mounted WC offers a five centimetres higher seated position making it easier for the user to stand up again after using the toilet. As it works with existing connections, it is ideal for renovation projects. Sufficient room for manoeuvre in front of the toilet ensures safe and comfortable mobility, even if a walking frame or wheelchair is needed at some point in the future. Handles that can be added at the sides later on, prevent falls, whilst toilet-paper holders and flush plates within easy reach further enhance comfort.

Of course, special Vital models from the D-code, Architec and Starck series are also available to match the washbasins. The 700 mm projection complies with current DIN standards. Fold-out grab bars that are firmly fixed in position and that have an integrated toilet-paper holder are used as transfer devices. A back support also offers additional relief, just in case.

Convenient entry and safe showering

A flush-fitting shower tray is not only the best solution from a visual point of view but it is also easy to clean, safe and helps to prevent falls. Shower trays with dimensions 120 x 120 cm meet the criteria of DIN 18025/I + II and 18040-2E for barrier-free bathrooms and also offer sufficient room for manoeuvre – even for an additional helper.

Shower and Bath Combination – accessible

As a combined walk-in shower and bathtub, the Shower + Bath designed by EOOS offers maximum comfort in a small space. Thanks to an integrated glass door, the bathtub quickly and easily becomes an open, age-appropriate shower that can be entered effortlessly. When the door to the inside of the tub is opened, it disappears under a waterproof seat cushion and remains invisible. The dimensionally stable cushion rests on the integrated door as well as the tub rim, providing a comfortable seat and additional storage space.
Shower + Bath also allows people with limited mobility or disabilities to enjoy a relaxing bath.

Comfort and quality of life

Well-planned and well-executed measures for greater accessibility not only improve quality of life and enhance the everyday comfort that is so important to the elderly, but they also increase the value of a property.
In addition, thinking ahead when planning a new bathroom also enables its users to live independently for as long as possible.

Clever bathroom ideas for more safety

Safety plays a major role not only in the accessible bathroom. All age groups benefit from practical additional functions for more comfort in the bathroom. In the dark, for example, a special additional LED night light provides adequate orientation without interrupting the body’s resting state. Some mirror cabinet models and the SensoWash® shower toilet are equipped with this feature.
For greater safety when showering, Duravit acrylic shower trays are available with the special, transparent and anti-slip coating Antislip.

SOURCE: First Published on Leading Architecture & Design


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