Space is at a premium and today Britain’s new-build houses have never been so small . Enter the UB1 – a compact solution that conceals a toilet, a handbasin and even an optional shower, and is said to be able to halve the size of a traditional bathroom, which usually requires at least one square meter per fixture.
Designed by Sydney-based Uniq Bathrooms, the UB1 is a winner of the coveted ISH 2017 Design Plus Award in Frankfurt. It’s part of a range of products – the UB1 contains a toilet, handbasin, three storage drawers and optional shower (UB1-S); the UB2 has just the toilet and handbasin; and the top-of-the-range UB3 has all three major fixtures, and comes with a prefabricated glass shower recess and self-draining timber base.
The product’s creator, designer Malcolm Carver, believes his brainchild will be life-enhancing.
“UB1 is the world’s first bathroom appliance that conceals a retractable toilet and basin, with no taps or accessories, with an optional shower. Bathrooms can now be reduced in area by up to 60%, and space gained may be used for a more healthy lifestyle, enabling architects to design beautiful, minimalist, yet more efficient and affordable bathrooms in all new and existing building types,” he says.
The UB1 taps into several current trends, the consumer’s love of a streamlined aesthetic being one of them. “While space saving can be a great attribute, the opportunity to minimise clutter in bathroom design through concealed elements can also apply to large luxurious en suites and bathrooms. All you’ll see is a streamlined, white panel. From the outside, it’ll be the same size as a dishwasher and just like a dishwasher, it can be either freestanding or built in,” says Carver.
So why is the UB1 significant, and how might such a product affect the way in which we use our bathrooms in the future? Says Carver: “Space saved can be utilised for other lifestyle choices such as meditation or exercise.” This opens up the possibility of fundamentally altering the function of the bathroom space in the home, freeing it up to being used as a fitness area, gym or spa, or even a home office.The UB1 opens up the possibility of fundamentally altering the function of the bathroom space in the home, freeing it up to being used as a fitness area, gym or spa, or even a home office. Click To Tweet
In addition, according to behavioural futurist Will Higham, next year we’re going to have the most three-generational households ever seen in this country. And as multi-generational homes with more people in them will require more bathrooms, the UB1 could be central in making that happen.
Made of stainless steel and fully recyclable, UB1 is currently being commercialised and developed for the Asian market, where there is a greater market need for efficient use of space and demand for large quantities. “It will be expensive initially, but like a plasma TV it will also be more affordable in time,” says Carver. However, he believes the product’s prospects don’t stop at houses and apartments – in the future the company hopes to see it in hotels, hospitals, cruise ships, and even on board planes.
For more information, visit www.uniqbathrooms.com