Men and women in the bathroom – the subject of many a discussion.
What kind of design and furnishings do the two genders prefer? Are there colours that men or women like better? And what stands out more: the small differences or the greater similarities? The designer Gesa Hansen explored these questions and then developed the “His & Hers” bathroom concept especially for Villeroy & Boch at ISH 2019: two bathrooms that play with the differences between the genders without drawing clear boundaries.
Gesa Hansen and Villeroy & Boch have been creating colour concepts together for many years. Inspired by the seasons in her adopted home of Paris, the German Dane came up with colours for the washbasin in the Artis range that add an individual touch to the bathroom atmosphere – classic or modern, to suit any taste.
Men’s bathrooms vs. women’s bathrooms?
“His & Hers” is a purely conceptional piece of work where once again Gesa Hansen has proven her creative talent as well as feel for how colour affects moods. The stagings, which reflect the small differences in men’s and women’s bathroom rituals without strictly separating them or resorting to clichés, are characterised by a kaleidoscope of different shades on large colourful areas. Because the bathroom furnishings show more similarities than differences. Depending on personal taste, a woman can feel at home in a “men’s bathroom” just like a man can in a “women’s bathroom”.
Connecting colour concepts
This is why the colour concepts focus on individuality. It’s not the colours per se, which account for the difference between “His” and “Hers”, it’s their composition and intensity. The designer uses colour generously in both concepts and illustrates their effect on walls and furniture as well as sanitary ware, which were coloured especially for “His & Hers”. Gesa Hansen worked with bold green and dark red shades in both colour concepts and added dark blue, white or materials with a metallic or wooden look to create a striking contrast. The colour palette for “Hers” tends to be warmer and for “His” darker.
In addition to the large wall designs, the coloured sanitary ware is also very eye-catching. “Hers” features a free-standing Aveo New Generation bath in a bold burgundy whose colour and shape correspond perfectly with a surface-mounted washbasin from the Memento 2.0 collection in powder pink: Aveo has a soft and curved design whereas Memento with its very clear lines stands for confident minimalism. The arrangement is complemented by a Subway 2.0 toilet in dark emerald green.
The “His” washing area consists of a coral-coloured Memento 2.0 surface-mounted washbasin with a green Finion base unit placed in front of purist cedar wood panels and a dark blue Venticello toilet in front of a rust-coloured wall. Decorative strips add a strong metallic touch to the overall mis-en-scene.
However, the greatest “His & Hers” discrepancies regard function: “His” has an open and practical design – all bathroom utensils he uses on a daily basis are always close at hand. Storage space is not that important. A concertina mirror near the washbasin and a full-length mirror next to it meet all of his functional demands. And as men prefer to take showers rather than baths, Gesa Hansen has equipped “His” with a spacious walk-in shower.
In contrast, “Hers” has a boudoir flair that looks cosy as well as a little secretive. An opulent bath, a comfortable armchair and a few green plants create a calming atmosphere where she can relax and feel good. Bathroom accessories and utensils are concealed in the furniture. There is a mirror landscape right next to the washbasin to separate the personal hygiene area from the cosmetics area.
Villeroy & Boch’s “His & Hers” is an ambitious design project that combines colour expertise with on-trend interior design. The designer Gesa Hansen finely worked out male and female characteristics in the bathroom scenes and integrated universal, comprehensive colour concepts in the two rooms. The result: bathrooms where men and women can feel at ease.
About Gesa Hansen
Gesa Hansen was born into a family of furniture designers and architects in 1981. After graduating from the Bauhaus University in Weimar and the Nagoya University of Arts, Gesa Hansen worked for several design studios in Tokyo and Paris – the latter her current adopted home. In 2009 she followed the family tradition and set up her own label, "The Hansen Family", for hand-crafted furniture influenced by Scandinavian design, which immediately received two Red Dot Awards and the Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum. Together with Pascaline Feutry and Aï Bihr, she founded interior design studios in Paris and New York in 2011, which enjoy worldwide success. In 2015, Wallpaper Magazine named Gesa Hansen one of the 200 most important designers in the world.
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Villeroy & Boch:
Villeroy & Boch is one of the world's leading premium brands for ceramic products. The family business, which was founded in 1748 and is headquartered in Mettlach/Germany, stands for innovation, tradition and exceptional style. As a renowned lifestyle brand, Villeroy & Boch offers products from the sectors Bathroom and Wellness and Tableware, and is active in 125 countries.