WAF returned to Asia this year after almost a decade elsewhere, still the largest global gathering of leading architects and designers. LIXIL, through its brand GROHE, was again supporting the festival in its 16th iteration and was present with a highly visible display suite at Marina Bay Sands. As a popular meeting and gathering spot, it marked in some ways the centre of WAF 2023.

GROHE, a global leader in complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, is in fact a founding partner of WAF and sponsors the GROHE Water Prize. “Sustainability is one of the brand pillars,” explains Besseyre Des Horts, drawing attention to the GROHE Water Prize and the company’s commitment to net-zero by 2050.

Antoine Besseyre Des Horts.

This year, their presence at WAF coincided with the launch of GROHE SPA across the Asia-Pacific region. “First launched at this year’s Milan Design Week, we are excited to bring GROHE SPA’s specially curated collections that can create versatile combinations for a multi-sensory, personalised showering experience,” says Satoshi Konagai, leader in LIXIL Water Technology, Asia-Pacific. “We look forward to collaborating with discerning homeowners and industry partners on unique GROHE SPA projects across the region.”

Antoine Besseyre Des Horts, leader at LIXIL Global Design, Asia, was on the ground at Singapore to talk about his role and what this gathering of the global architecture and design community means for the company. Besseyre Des Horts is keen to underline the focus on design at GROHE: “I lead a multidisciplinary team of international designers and together we create products and solutions for our different brands [with LIXIL].”

Related: Five insights from Australian architects at WAF

Besseyre Des Horts is based in Sinagpore but work often takes him to Australia. “When we create our products, we always take a very user- or customer-centric approach,” he says. “We do a lot of research and we try to translate this into experiences for people.”

He continues: “When we create products for hospitality, the engagement with architects and designers is very important. They are basically interacting with customers all the time so, for us, it’s a great way to get insights. It’s about how we can provide architects with tools and solutions for them to create their projects.”

With regard to their physical presence at the centre of WAF, Besseyre Des Horts emphasises the importance of a place for sharing ideas: “The focus here is more about interaction, with very little product display – it’s all about people meeting, gathering and discussing ideas.”

GROHE SPA, a collection focused on water-based multisensory experiences, is a luxury brand that represents the developing understanding of the bathroom as a space that is more than just functional. That is, as Besseyre Des Horts puts it, understanding the bathroom as a space of self-indulgence, health and wellbeing; a place for some regenerative personal time. “It’s all about touches of luxury and personalisation,” he adds.

GROHE
grohe.com.au

Photography
Courtesy of GROHE

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