Tilla Goldberg: “It's about celebrating water as a precious resource, while making users reflect and question how they use it”
6. February 2023
Tilla Goldberg (Photo: Ippolito Fleitz Group)
Tilla Goldberg is Studio Director of the Brand Spaces and Product Design & Material Lab studios at Ippolito Fleitz Group. We spoke with her about her approach to special design tasks and bathroom concepts that are fit for the future.
Thomas Geuder: Mrs. Goldberg, the hallmark of Ippolito Fleitz is a design that not only corresponds to the client but also creates an identity. This principle is easily conceivable for offices, salesrooms or restaurants, but the bathroom — the focus at the ISH — is a very personal, intimate space. How does your philosophy approach this special design task?
Tilla Goldberg: “Identity Architects" is not only our name but our mission. In each of our projects, the identity and the very personal preferences of our clients play a central role. The bathroom is — with the exception of the bedroom — the most intimate place in one's own four walls, which usually only people who are close to us get to see. It is a room that you enter first thing in the morning and where you relax in the evening. Here, everyone follows their very own rituals, which we try to incorporate and translate into the interior design. While the bathroom used to be primarily a functional area that served only for personal hygiene, it is now a living space that should reflect one's own personality — and thus represents one's own identity. This is what makes our work at this point so interesting.
Rehau Future Apartment – interzum 2019 (Photo: Rehau AG + Co / Käthy Braun)
Against the backdrop of climate change and the energy crisis, the use of resources is gaining in importance, for example when it comes to the selection of materials. Does this also influence your planning, and if so, in what way?
We as the design curators of a project are responsible for which materials we use, which materials we can vouch for. Be it in terms of durability, ecological footprint or aesthetics. In the case of bathrooms, the selection of materials is very exciting because they have to withstand many different states of aggregation, such as high humidity or different heat levels. In terms of sustainability, it is advantageous to use materials that take advantage of the climate in the bathroom and, for example, store heat or make use of the moisture, as would be the case with a greened bathroom.
Maisonette P155 (Photo: Eric Laignel)
A term that keeps being mentioned not only in building construction, but also in interior design, is sustainability. Where do you identify great savings potential, particularly in the area of bathrooms and wet rooms, and what future strategies do you think are necessary?
In my view, the conscious use of water resources has the greatest impact on sustainability in the bathroom. This can be the use of intelligent pipe systems or a shower with intelligent water control. In the future, smart technologies will invisibly control resource consumption and increase comfort in the bathroom. In addition, breathable plaster or clay plaster surfaces, for example, which can improve indoor air quality, play an important role in terms of sustainability.
Geberit 6x6 – Biophilic Bathroom 2022 (Photo: Ippolito Fleitz Group)
Water is a tremendously important resource that should be used consciously. What levers do you see in your work to raise users' awareness of how to use water?
As architects, we can draw users' attention to water as a resource insofar as we critically question certain demands during consultation and examine them in terms of sustainability. Being more conscious of everything that goes on behind the bathroom wall, and not just the aesthetics in front of it, makes it possible to create meaningful designs and raise the users' awareness of this issue. It's about celebrating water as a precious resource, while making users reflect and question how they use it. The sustainability factor should become a self-evident decision criterion for consumers when planning their bathroom.
Fictitious bathroom for Cleopatra — Kaldewei competition (Visualization: Ippolito Fleitz Group)
Rebado “Newnature” — surface design (Visualization: Ippolito Fleitz Group)
Over the years, certain aspects of the bathroom have undergone a major transformation, from a rather pragmatic washing area to a small, private wellness temple. Which ideas and concepts do you think are viable for the coming years?
The bathroom has become a spatial expression of individual personality. The boundaries between bathroom and bedroom are increasingly dissolving, and the significance of the bathroom is growing. Not only as a functional space but as an aesthetic space. A living space that is equal to the other rooms and thus requires the same attention in its design. The courage for individual design is increasing and has an identity-forming effect. The bathroom should no longer be a pure white, sterile tiled hell. Many people want to surround themselves with enjoyable materials with a pleasant surface feel. Thus, the bathroom is increasingly becoming an oasis of well-being and tranquility — as an important antipole to the everyday stress. Here you can rejuvenate, relax and be completely with yourself. Light and materials help us create an intimate, personal atmosphere here.
Apartment Sch (Photo: Zooey Braun)
Show apartment “Shades of Grey” (Photo: Sui Sicong)
Please give us an insight into your personal environment: What bathroom worlds do you like to move around in, and what do you find particularly good, beautiful and also practical there?
I like rooms that are a collage of personality, of the individual life story. My own bathroom is relatively small, so I used mirrors to visually multiplied it. My dream image for the private bathroom with more space is the “vanity lounge”. A spatial situation that transforms the classic dressing table into a place where I really like to linger longer and pamper myself. This would add a functional component to my personal dream bathroom that also increases the quality of stay.
House Viewpoint (Photo: Philip Kottlorz)
House HOD (Photo: Zooey Braun)
ISH presents marketable solutions for a sustainable future
ISH, the world's leading trade fair for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and water, will once again be inviting visitors to Frankfurt am Main from March 13 to 17, 2023. At the leading international event for the sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology sector, the industry will showcase its marketable products and ideas for achieving climate protection targets in buildings. Around 2,000 companies, 70 percent of them from abroad, are expected to attend. They will present solutions for renewable energy sources, sustainable water use and clean air.
The exhibitors are spread across the two sections of the trade fair, ISH Water and ISH Energy. Modern bathroom design and sustainable technology for the use of water resources are the focus of the ISH Water section. In Halls 1 to 6, visitors will find innovative products and solutions for lifestyle-oriented bathrooms, hygienic drinking water installations, time-saving installation and fastening technologies and software solutions. The range of products and services at ISH Energy in Halls 8 to 12 ranges from innovative heat generation with a focus on sustainable heat pump technology, modern heat distribution and delivery and systems to intelligent home and building automation, through to cooling, air-conditioning and ventilation technology.
The ISH Contactor offers an up-to-date overview of all exhibitors taking part in the fair at https://ish.messefrankfurt.com/frankfurt/en/exhibitor-search.html.
The exhibitors' products and solutions will be flanked by an extensive accompanying program. Trend forums, competitions, specialist forums, guided tours and lectures provide an opportunity to obtain information, learn more and network.
Visit https://ish.messefrankfurt.com/frankfurt/en/programme-events/events-ish.html for the latest news.
All information about the ISH is available at
Talks + Tours and Guided Tours at ISH 2023 from 13. - 16. March 2023
Tilla Goldberg (Ippolito Fleitz Group), Alexandra Mrzigod (Werner Sobek), Jana Vonofakos (VRAI interior architecture), Julia Schneider (iam interior.architects), Malte Just (Just/Burgeff Architekten), Lien Tran (Lien Tran Interior Design), Michael Burghaus (architekturbüro .pg1), Markus Pfeil (Pfeil & Koch ingenieurgesellschaft)
Talks + Tours and Guided Tours at ISH 2023 – Information and registration
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