REHAU will put up a unique show at interzum 2019: Aptly named "Future Apartment," the stand will deliver memorable experiences and technical insights, beyond mere kitchenettes and conventional apartment solutions. Thanks to their latest creations, REHAU will introduce functions-embedded surfaces and technologies adding new smart and emotional values to contemporary living. Concept and planning have been developed by multidisciplinary design studio Ippolito Fleitz Group.
Beyond the surface of furniture
The Future Apartment
Everyday culture is profoundly steeped in individualization, one of the current megatrends reported by the Zukunftsinstitut. Individualization affects our consumption patterns as much as our value systems: Choosing freely according to taste and opinion, and being able to design according to personal ideas shape the main cultural principles of contemporary society. This behavioral path has recently issued new challenges to REHAU, demanding a wider offer of variants as well as more individualized products.
"Future Apartment" follows a radical approach that reduces the kitchen, living room and bathroom to three highly functional blocks, almost sculptural objects. Each one remains deliberately abstract to highlight the many technical possibilities offered by REHAU in a never-seen-before and entertaining way. Discerning visitors and guests will thus be able to experience numerous touch points and communication triggers, all of which will stimulate their minds’ imagination and ignite in-depth conversations. Thanks to an innovative Customer Journey, the staging devised by Ippolito Fleitz Group will create a long-lasting ripple effect emanating beyond REHAU’s trade fair presence. "The main goal of this unique show is to create as many interactive situations as possible. The interaction between man and surface has always been the focus of our collaboration," explains Tilla Goldberg, Director Product Design at Ippolito Fleitz Group. "REHAU’s unlimited technical potential grants us designers totally new possibilities when dealing with the design of surfaces. In addition, they enable us to think beyond the surface and to create independent objects with character instead of 'silent furniture'," Goldberg continues.
To address these three thematic blocks - the currency of today’s interior segment discourse, Rehau has envisioned the apartment of the future. It is a new path and holistic approach that rethinks and leverages the properties of previously unused surfaces, not only characterized by mere optical beauty and aesthetic added value, but also by the synthesis between technology and material. The core of the program is supported by an inspirational formula: more individuality, more space, more emotion.
Habitat 1: The Kitchen
Since time immemorial, the kitchen has been the fulcrum of day to day activities - created to nourish, to cook and store food, it has morphed into an emotional pivoting crossroad between all domestic spaces. REHAU conceptualizes it as the communicative center of the “Future Apartment”, almost a welcoming imaginary gate behind which a new dwelling universe expands.
If the dream kitchen has become the center of everyday life, unarguably an object of desire, on the other hand, lack of space and rising living costs translate into fewer and fewer square meters available. Who doesn’t long for that sleek kitchen island, the star of an open space area? This, REHAU has reckoned, calls for a clever concept that leaves plenty of room and options to develop within a limited surface area - without compromising on individuality.
Enter the tambour door cabinets, previously frowned upon as a necessary evil in the kitchen corner, now confidently proving their potential. REHAU imagines a minimalistic monolithic free-standing body made of two blocks intersecting at 90-degree angles. There is no shortage of possibilities and smart functions here: Storage space granted, the containers feature “out of stock” indicators, motorized doors, centrally controlled intelligent display strips, and wireless power supply surfaces because, let’s admit it, smart phones rule the household. The interactive kitchen work surface consists of the new materials RAUVISIO mineral | HANEX Solid Surfaces. Of course, a wide variety of materials and finishes in different colors are complemented by the possibility to print bespoke visuals on panels for a unique custom-tailored experience.
Habitat 2: The Living area
The living room is for everyone. A retreat within one’s apartment, a personal “safe place” but at the same time the site where the personality of the occupants manifests itself. It is a nest for intimacy, created not only by furniture but also by doing things with significant others. And, since 21st-century-workdays never come to a crisp close with after-hours work spilling into the living room, this environment has morphed into an office too, blurring the confines between the two.
REHAU here envisions a floor-to-ceiling open lamella structure made of the material RAU-VISIO crystal encapsulating a soft upholstery lounge. It is a sheltered cocoon where one can retreat and unplug, or simply bring a piece of office at home, and send the last few emails of the day from a more comfortable setting. RAUKANTEX lite is the individually programmable lighting profile. Smart and elegantly integrated interfaces abound here: controllable strips in each 4.5-meter-high lamella edge can enhance the experience, creating suggestive atmospheres thanks to individually programmable light profiles and invisible surface-embedded switches.
Inside the cocoon, a pulsating sewn-in lighting contour on the seams of the cushions creates an ethereal halo effect enveloping the individual. Thanks to an ingeniously integrated overhead light source, it becomes the perfect domestic spot to relax, listen to music or read a book that can be easily retrieved from the adjacent shelf, also incorporating built-in lights. It is the perfect analog vs. digital interaction!
Habitat 3: The Bathroom
The bathroom – the “water room” – is the most sensory-laden, body-centered home environment. It is where the individual re-energizes after exhausting workdays or strenuous training sessions. Personal hygiene, durability and individually-controllable functionality are the demands placed on the modern bathroom. With this in mind, REHAU has excogitated products and designs to overcome lack of space, and to enhance the holistic soothing effect of the water room. The bathroom windows are equipped with the Smart Shading function, which makes them appear immaterial and transforms the bathroom into a safe and private space.
REHAU again focuses on the functionality of the overall environment placing a high premium on integrated surfaces and interfaces. Understated light lines transform full-body black-milled mirrors into congenially illuminated make-up mirror surfaces, while at the same time changing the depth perception of the entire room. Integrated lighting fixtures on the outer perimeters of washbasins and bathtubs neatly show the way even at night without straining the eyes in pitch-black darkness. And, by virtue of translucent RAUVISIO crystal panels, custom motifs can be added to each surface.
In the shower, the same vitreous material RAUVISIO crystal replaces the tile and, with incorporated, waterproof control elements, ensures that stored functions can be accessed at any time during the cleansing ritual, as indicated by the change in color of the shower head as the water temperature varies. “This new range is meant to enter the contract markets, and it has been thought out to reach other industries such as commercial aviation or rail transport - imagine such features on a long-haul flight aboard a state of the art airplane or on a Tokyo-Kyoto bullet train night ride cruising at 300 km/h. The possibilities are infinite!” reports Markus Winning, Head of Product Management Systems in the Furniture Solutions division.