Tropical wellness by Gessi

I would like this very first post on Dreams & Design to reflect my personal interest in design and aesthetics as well as in nature and ways to incorporate greenery into everyday domestic spaces. 

Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that I have a soft spot for flowers and basically all things botanical. And it’s not only me – the whole generation of millennials has been credited for the emergence of the so called ‘urban jungle’ trend on social media with images of homegrown monsteras, cacti and giant fiddle leaf figs making a regular appearance on our Instagram feeds. Some view this trend as a reaction against the aggressive property development in metropolitan areas that has led to dramatic decrease in green public spaces and houses with gardens, or it might simply be a healthy way to ease the pressure of modern life. Either way, in recent years the concept of wellness has become synonymous with creating a botanical oasis in the heart of a busy urban environment. A space infused with green energy that you can also recreate in your own home, where else if not in the most private part of your apartment? 

Bathroom no longer serves as a utility room only – with the right decor it can be transformed into a stylish green nest. Designers and high-end manufacturers take note and tap into this trend to update the presentation of their products and inspire fresh solutions.  Let’s see how Gessi, a company renowned for its innovative approach to bathroom design, incorporates greenery into their own minimal aesthetic. 

Gessi Inciso bathroom collection

But first, are you familiar with this Italian brand? Gessi was founded in 1992 and since then has steadily built its global reputation for sophisticated bathroom and kitchen furnishings. Today, their products are present in a variety of design contexts, from private residences to places typically associated with the wellness sector such as resorts and spas. Right from the beginning, the company has demonstrated commitment to environmental issues as it prides itself on using recyclable stainless steel and energy from renewable sources. Just picture their office and production site in Serravalle Sesia, built from local materials and immersed in the green environment of 300.000 square metres in the province of Vercelli. The Gessi DNA is based on a potent mix of minimalism, technology and artisanal materials. Do you want to know how it translates into their style and communication strategy? This year I’ve had a chance to tour their stand and preview the latest products, and now it’s time to share my impressions with you. 

Gessi bathroom set design with Fontana Arte lamps

Nowadays many design companies enlist the the help of an external art director, an architect or a designer, to update their products and offer a more powerful image across all platforms of presentation and sales. Gessi is no exception to the rule. Inciso, their new collection of taps and bathroom accessories has been created in collaboration with the award-winning American architect and designer David Rockwell. His interdisciplinary New York-based practice designs sets for theatre productions, museums, hospitals as well as interiors for luxury hotels and restaurants around the globe. They’re also involved in projects connected to local style and heritage buildings. Think about the renovation of the quintessentially American landmark of architecture, Grand Central Station in New York, to give you an idea. His designs for Gessi embody the modern industrial style and combine it with the brand’s signature minimalism. So the visual storytelling of the project was based on a contrast between the functional, industrial forms of taps and the sensual, 1970s-inspired leafy greens. Imagine Bali-meets-Manhattan loft vibes and that should give you a clue about their aesthetic references. I also liked the way they integrated circular shapes of washbasins and modern lightning (Equatore lamps by Fontana Arte) into the overall concept of the stand.

Aesthetic issues aside, Gessi understands that creating a modern wellness experience wouldn’t be possible without a strong technological input. Their Private Wellness Program relies on chromo and hydrotherapy, which involves water, light and sound to create a multisensory experience. It can be customised so that the water stream can appear as a cascade, rainfall or atomisation and the water rails can be installed on the ceiling, just like lighting in collaboration with another Italian powerhouse, Artemide. I’ve never liked baths with hydromassage, but this shower concept is minimal and works well with architectural features of the room. It’s what the future of wellness design will look like – minimal aesthetic with powerful attributes appealing to all the senses. And let’s not forget about the soothing influence of plants on our wellbeing and inner peace. 

Hopefully, the green wellness trend that appeals to the sensitivity of a modern, eco-conscious consumer, is set to become a permanent part of our design landscape. What do you think? Would you like to see it in your dream bathroom or during your weekend spa getaway? 

Keywords for a modern wellness experience:

  • Elements of an industrial style
  • Minimal lines and high quality finishes
  • Sensual foliage and plants
  • Stimulation of all the senses

Images by Dreams & Design and Gessi 

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