The more hectic and dynamic our lives become, the more we look for places to which we can retreat and enjoy some calm. But where can we find such places when we’re away from home – for instance, at work or while travelling?
Personal Sensory Spaces, PSS™ for short, by sieger design presents a revolutionary new concept for semi-public WCs. In this architectural study, fully equipped modular units create self-contained sanctuaries – while requiring no more space than conventional cubicle solutions.
The evolution of (semi-)public WCs is part of our cultural history. From communal latrines in ancient Rome to the first screened-off water closets, down the centuries they have changed in line with our concepts of hygiene and intimacy.
The architectural study Personal Sensory Spaces by sieger design marks another key stage in this evolution, and is intended to set a new standard for semi-public WC facilities. Through intelligent arrangement of space and innovative design, it places the focus squarely on people and their need for privacy. Self-contained, soundproofed units offer intimacy, calm and relaxation.
Alongside a toilet, each PSS™ module also contains a washbasin and other optional multisensory features designed to maximise comfort. Lighting, images, film, music and fragrances evoke new emotional ambiences each time. The digitally connected modules appeal to the senses with personalised scenarios, creating an experience of sanctuary.
PSS™ is a concept that doesn’t just offer benefits to users, but also to companies, architects and planners.
For the same number of WCs, the PSS™ modules require no more space than a conventional toilet facility with individual cubicles and a shared washbasin area.
The integrated solution by sieger design also has all the little details covered. Almost all semi-public toilet facilities combine products from a range of different manufacturers, from soap dispensers to sanitary bag dispensers. Having to make separate decisions on all these individual items makes planning complex.
PSS™, by contrast, can offer fully predefined units that can be adapted according to different locations, styles and desired options.
The architectural study delivers on the promise of privacy in all semi-public spaces. The three style interpretations – Office, Factory and Hospitality – visualise examples of concrete applications for different settings. As well as offices or hotels, other possible areas of application include transport hubs such as airports, train stations and petrol stations.
Personalised scenarios create emotional ambiences and an experience of sanctuary using digitally connected elements such as lighting, film, fragrances and music. The scenarios can be managed using wall-mounted controls or an app. Depending on the user’s personal needs, either a stimulating, invigorating ambience can be created or a soothing, relaxing one.
Inspired by nature: the fully illuminated ceiling simulates the sky, creating a daylight-like experience even in windowless rooms. With RGBW LEDs – coloured light with a separately controllable white LED – it’s possible to recreate the fine nuances of morning or evening light.
The large display acts like a virtual window, bringing the outdoors indoors. Images are given exceptional depth by the fully backlit screen. The display can show images of nature, photographs or films. In preprogrammed scenarios, the screen interacts with elements like the illuminated ceiling.
To keep the air in windowless WCs fresh and healthy, a ventilation system is a must. Fresh air is fed in from floor level, while an extractor on the ceiling removes stale air.
Unsightly items, like replacement toilet rolls, sanitary bag dispensers and toilet brushes, are compactly arranged in the washstand unit, out of view of users.
The washstand makes optimum use of limited space. The basin, washstand cover and splashback are made as a single component from glazed steel. A paper towel dispenser and a bin for used towels are integrated on the left-hand side of the compact unit.
PSSTM is a space for personal rituals, where people can freshen themselves up or take medicine undisturbed using the cups provided. An integrated filter system ensures the water is drinkable.
The concealed technology offers a hygienic, easy-to-use solution. In many semi-public settings, touch-free taps are already a legal requirement. The automatic soap dispenser is also sensor-activated.
For maximum hygiene, the toilet flush is sensor-controlled, and can be activated touch-free with a hand gesture. The urinal has an automatic flush function, which is activated by infrared proximity sensors.
Most people use them regularly at work or on the go: semi-public WCs. They are rarely pleasant experiences. In particular, company sanitary facilities often offer barely any atmosphere and therefore great potential. This project demonstrates that this can be different: in 2021, the agency is implementing its architectural study Personal Sensory Spaces, published two years previously, for a German industrial company. Here, alongside other objects, 41 toilet units have been developed in a multilevel office building and nearby connecting building.
These days, companies have to offer their employees more than just a well-equipped workstation and daily fruit. And in businesses with open, highly dynamic workspaces in particular, it is essential to consider quiet options as a countermeasure. The architectural concept from sieger design aims to provide all employees with moments of privacy: a sign of appreciation and also a worthwhile investment in people – who are moving back into focus. Here, the agency is pursuing nothing short of a paradigm shift, a new understanding of semi-public WCs within companies and beyond.
Personal Sensory Spaces (PSS™) swaps today’s standard rows of toilet cubicles and open sink area that many people use at the same time for soundproofed room units with a toilet and their own washstand. The number of toilets is maintained without requiring an expansion of the area. The result is self-contained quiet spaces – intimate and calm. Employees can go here for short moments of relaxation and personal rituals, be they physical hygiene after arriving by bike, freshening up make-up or taking medication discreetly.
It is precisely these predefined quiet spaces that sieger design has now implemented for a German industrial company. The starting point was five fully fitted toilet units in a building that connects the production plant to a guest house. The new semi-public WCs in the reception area provide visitors with a sense of arrival following what is sometimes a long journey. They are a pilot for the 36 other units being fitted across three floors in the nearby office building.
In both buildings, the vision, dating back to 2019, was implemented almost to the letter. Wall-high images, evenly backlit by modern LEDs, bring nature to the space and give the impression of looking out of the window. Other multisensory equipment options can be integrated by means of light, music and fragrance.
The wash area feels roomy even in the smallest space. The basin, washstand covering and splashback are made of glazed steel as one seamless component. As part of the project, sieger design developed a new towel dispenser that has been used here for the first time and is patentpending. It allows people to take the exact quantity desired with one hand. Paper towel disposal and equipment like replacement toilet rolls, hygiene bag dispensers and toilet brush are integrated into the wash space in a compact way and thus disappear from the user’s view. Fresh, temperate air – indispensable for a healthy climate in interior toilets – is supplied via the skirting area and extracted through the all-round shadow gap in the ceiling.
“It is always something special when a project is implemented – whether this is a new product you are holding for the first time or the finished architecture you are walking into and can experience for yourself. We are proud of this, of course, but you always need the right partners. In this case, a businessman who has the willingness and openness to offer his employees and guests some privacy in a semi-public environment,” says Michael Sieger.
The first custom implementation by sieger design shows how the architectural study can be tailored to the customer. A big advantage in the sanitary area in particular, where a number of requirements come together. “Because various trades are involved here, the design is generally very complex. For this reason, we also believe that predefined concepts and prefabricated bathrooms will be the future,” says Michael Sieger.
PSS™ can be implemented in new builds and existing properties. sieger design adjusts the modular concept individually depending on the application area, stylistic specifications and desired equipment levels. “It is therefore suited not only to industrial companies, but also hoteliers, restaurateurs and operating companies”, adds Christian Sieger.
In the OFFICE variant, the individual modules are specially tailored to a workplace setting. The minimalist design is democratic and inviting for office staff, but without sacrificing its own distinctive style and charm. The large mirror and the lighting create a pleasant environment that is ideal for a variety of different uses: for instance, doing make-up. Customised scenarios with lighting, music and fragrances can be individually controlled and navigated.
The FACTORY style interpretation illustrates how the PSS™ architectural study could be implemented in a production setting. This variant features more robust materials, tiled walls and a larger washbasin, providing space for users to have a more thorough wash. It could also be adapted for sports facilities or swimming pools.
HOSPITALITY visualises a premium design style ideal for hotels, restaurants and bars. A floor-standing washbasin is accompanied by a cube unit on which fresh towels are laid out and that features an integrated bin for used towels. The selected materials and finishes as well as the finely tuned lighting concept create an elegant and emotional ambience.
The mission statement of sieger design is to develop distinctive, success-oriented brand concepts and products with a unique selling point. The design agency has been driving major trends in the sanitary industry since the early 1980s and has been the innovative force behind many product categories: the first designer bathroom fittings, holistic bathroom collections, large overhead rain showers and scenario-controlled showers.
Working on behalf of partners such as Alape, Dornbracht and Duravit as well as a host of other international brands, the company develops holistic strategies and designs that are based on sound analysis and visionary thinking.
sieger design approaches every new task with the utmost sensitivity, an eye for timeless, often archetypal forms, superlative artisanry and technical finesse, and a keen understanding of functionality, innovation and sustainability. At Harkotten Castle, the design process is implemented by an interdisciplinary team of over 40 employees.
Do you have any questions or would you like more information (for example, our PSS™ brochure)? Then please simply get in touch at any time!
Copyright by Alape GmbH, Aloys F. Dornbracht GmbH & Co. KG (photography Stephan Abry, Markus Jans, Thomas Popinger, Communication Concept and Creation for Dornbracht: Meiré und Meiré), Conmoto, Duravit AG, SIEGER, SIEGER by FÜRSTENBERG, sieger design (PSS™ CGIs by Interiorvista, Barcelona)
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