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Chipperfield plumbed in with flexible bathroom of the future

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David Chipperfield has teamed up with four international architects to produce a range of products for the house of the future. At the invitation of organizers of Spanish construction show 'Construmat', Chipperfield has designed a range of bathware with flexible plumbing - enabling it to be moved around like conventional furniture.

Ben van Berkel designed a modular window with integrated blind, brise soleil and air-conditioning unit; Toyo Ito a series of flexible partitions; Domique Perrault a range of kitchen units; and Lluis Clotet and Ignacio Paricio designed a raised floor system with a 74mm cavity. All the products were unveiled at 'Construmat' last week in Barcelona. 'I was put in the bathroom, for some reason, ' Chipperfield told the plenary session of architects and building product representatives.

'The bathroom has always been regarded as a purely functional space - the smallest space that you can fit around a bath, toilet and basin. But lately we've started to enjoy this space more and its enclosure is being brought into question.'

All five architects were partnered with a manufacturer and asked to come up with a way of making domestic buildings more flexible. The raised floor system, much like that used in offices, conceals a range of water hydrants and hoses enabling both Chipperfield's bathware and Perrault's kitchen furniture to be moved around the house. The idea is that just as bedrooms, for example, can change their function according to the changing needs of the homeowner, so can the bathroom be easily moved, altered or enlarged.

'The idea of the house of the future is provocative, ' Chipperfield, who was partnered with Ideal Standard, told the AJ. 'All we can do is put ideas on the table and see if they work.'

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