Far from being a purely functional space, the bathroom has grown to become a high-fashion design statement – especially in top-end hotels, where guests expect the epitome of luxury. Hospitality Interiors’ Katie Sherry discovers how Italy-based Gessi has taken bathroom design to another level, creating a brand that embodies not only quality and innovation of its products, but also the lifestyle that they represent.
For a company that was founded just over 20 years ago, Gessi’s progress within the design sector is impressive, to say the least. From humble beginnings in a small workshop producing taps and bathroom furniture fittings, Gessi has grown to become an internationally-recognised bathroom design leader.
Guided by its founder and CEO, Gian Luca Gessi, the company’s success can be attributed to its forward-thinking ethos, which simply refuses to standardise. While a tap is viewed by many as a purely functional item, Gessi perceives it as an object of true sophistication and timeless value.
Through extensive research and development, Gessi has built a portfolio of over 6000 products, which range from mixers, ceramics and sanitaryware to advanced shower systems, accessories and ecological bathroom textiles. Gessi places a great emphasis on wellness – creating bathroom solutions that bring a spa experience into the bathroom.
Understated elegance is the hallmark of Gessi’s products. Its bathroom collection places great emphasis on form and function, with shapes providing the dominant aesthetic feature – from the curves of Ovale to the straight lines of Rettangolo. The company’s wall, floor and ceiling taps offer a striking focal point, and allow for ultimate flexibility in bathroom design schemes.
Further to aesthetic considerations, Gessi places great emphasis on its environmental impact. With a water saving of 50%, the Goccia range combines aesthetics with eco-friendly functionality. The taps’ drop shape further emphasises its environmental message, while adding a striking design statement.
In addition, iSpa faucets feature advanced aerators that reduce water consumption by 70% without decreasing the yield or altering the flow rate. The faucets also have a longer life and reduced mineral build-up in comparison to traditional alternatives.
As Gessi’s product offering has developed, its production facilities have grown to accommodate the growing demand. All of Gessi’s products are manufactured in-house – giving the company full control over the quality, designs and bespoke capabilities of its products.
The company’s main production facility is the impressive Gessi Park – an expansive 800,000m² site located just outside of Milan, which was once a quarry. Set amongst a backdrop of rolling hills and forest, the park houses a purpose-built factory, showroom and research-and-development centre. Vintage motorcycles, pieces of art and antiques are scattered throughout.
Designed by Gessi’s in-house architects, the factory is as design-led and eco-conscious as its products. The facade of the building is made from natural materials, allowing it to blend in with its natural surroundings. The inside of the factory is clean, light and quiet, with a deliberately high ceiling to enhance the sense of space.
State-of-the-art technology is employed to make the production and manufacturing process as efficient as possible. Even so, each brass bar is handled and sculpted with individual care. Materials are recycled where possible, resulting in a significant reduction in waste.
In addition to the ever-evolving Gessi Park, the company has further expanded its presence in Italy with the opening of Gessi Milano – a design-led showroom in the heart of Milan’s fashion district. The 1500m² showroom is the result of a two-year refurbishment programme, which has transformed the former cinema into a luxury space reminiscent of a secret garden.
Cascades, pools, underground vertical gardens and high-tech video walls feature alongside a selection of Gessi’s products. A variety of roomsets inspired by countries from around the world, including the USA, Morocco and Russia, offer visitors design inspiration and enhance Gessi’s international presence. The space also features an elegant bar and meeting area, making it ideal for promotional events, product launches and business meetings.
A team of designers specialised in bathroom projects is available at the showroom to create customised spaces using the newly-purchased Gessi products. This is an extension of the Gessi Project Division – an international team dedicated to assisting consultants with creating bathroom design schemes for a range of projects.
Gessi products have been specified in a range of high-end hotels all over the world, including the Armani Hotel Milano and SevenStars Galleria Milano in Milan, Puli in Shanghai and the W Hotel Leicester Square in London.
Thanks to its innovative focus, Gessi has reached an undeniably impressive and international standard in only 20 years. Showing no sign of slowing down, the brand is set to further develop in the years to come – leaving its observers eagerly anticipating how much it will develop over the next two decades.