aquanale to present all the latest
trends from the swimming pool and wellness sector
There are almost two million privately used swimming pools in Germany, and around 800,000 of them have a water depth of more than one metre. Dieter C. Rangol, Executive Director of the Federal Association for Swimming Pools and Wellness (bsw), believes the swimming pool industry is gaining momentum. "An increase in personal health awareness, a greater willingness to invest in one's own property, a stable employment market and increasing consumer confidence all contribute to strengthening the swimming pool and wellness markets," he says. Aquanale, the International Trade Fair for Sauna, Pool and Ambience, will showcase the latest trends from the swimming pool and wellness sector from 22nd to 25th October 2013 in Cologne.
Living by the water
The trend toward "homing" - making the home into the centre of one's social life - is influencing the swimming pool sector. It is becoming customary for people to invite their friends "in" to socialize, so it's important to have a comfortable and inviting home. Gardens are becoming an extension of living rooms. In the process, strict delineations between the living room, the terrace and the swimming pool are dissolving to create an integrated living space - "living by the water". Uwe Rengers, Marketing Director of RivieraPool Fertigschwimmbad, explains, "We are presenting pools with shallow water zones that connect the living room with the garden and give the swimming pool facilities a beach-like character." The shallow water zone is not only a comfortable place to enter the pool but also a wellness area that is a pleasant place to spend some time. Special lounge chairs for this shallow water area provide a true "holiday experience" - just outside the door.
Many customers want a swimming pool that is as close to the house as possible in order to have a view of the water from the living room window - even in the winter. There is no longer much demand for a pool that is separate from the house and is covered with a tarpaulin during the cold months of the year - a measure that disfigures the landscape. "Nowadays, even when there's snow and ice, people want to illuminate their pools and make them look attractive," says Rengers. Aesthetics is a dominant theme, down to the smallest details of a swimming pool.
With corners and edges
Even built-in elements have left their status as purely functional products behind them. They now are produced in eye-catching contemporary designs. Rounded edges and corners are out of fashion. Today the trend is toward forms made up of straight lines. The corners and edges of cubic built-in elements make them very popular. The pool area has followed the example of the bathroom, where fittings and accessories have evolved from elaborate to minimalistic.
Less is more
Overall the trend is toward facilities that have a purist look with a subtle design. Clear forms displaying timeless elegance, as well as transparent elements are gaining in popularity. Karl-Heinz Bührmann, Managing Director of Corso Sauna Manufaktur GmbH, describes the contemporary sauna as an increasingly exclusive design object that is dominated by glass surfaces and high-quality stone. Stylish accents provide a tasteful balance to rigid aesthetics, whether it's a decorative wall in a sauna or a bright red hot tub for the garden such as the one available from G. Eichenwald GmbH & Co KG.
Nothing is impossible
New materials are also coming into play. In line with the motto "nothing is impossible", Schmalenberger GmbH & Co. offers a waterfall shower made of carbon. This innovative material was previously used mainly in aviation and space technologies and in automotive applications. Now it has been specifically developed for use in saltwater pools and mineral baths, where its durability is particularly valued. Stainless steel is also popular these days. This proven material, which has been used in swimming pools for over 40 years, has never gone out of fashion. In describing the advantages of this "evergreen" material, Marc Hölter, Managing Director of G. Eichenwald GmbH & Co KG., says, "Visually, it scores points for its shiny polished surfaces. It is more corrosion-resistant than other metals, completely recyclable and easy to take care of." The hygienic aspect also plays a span role in its popularity - as is the case for the sector in general.
Hygiene and safety
The revised regulations for the water quality standards DIN 19643 for swimming pools will be the main theme at the Fifth Cologne Swimming Pool and Wellness Forum (the congress programme at aquanale). Expert speakers will shed light on the changes in the regulations that will affect public pools, including hotel pools. "There will also be changes affecting the pool in your own garden," says Frank Eisele, who is the Managing Director of WWS Eisele UGmbH and a publicly appointed and certified expert for swimming pool technology. As an expert on standardization, he will present the initially released details of the new European regulations for private pools, which will go into effect in 2014.
Generally speaking, the strict division between private and public pools is becoming blurred. This development will be reflected at aquanale 2013. Since a large number of exhibitors serve both markets, the swimming pool areas of aquanale and FSB will be presented together for the first time in Hall 10.1. FSB, the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities, will take place in parallel with aquanale.
Refined designs that conserve resources
The hall will be dominated by one colour: green. An increased level of environmental awareness in the population has created a demand for energy-efficient solutions for pools, saunas and spas. The industry has responded by producing pool accessories that conserve natural resources. Suppliers that offer environmentally friendly products have the advantage here. "A swimming pool cover can reduce a pool's energy requirements by more than half," says Bert Granderath, Managing Director of grando GmbH. This company supplies rigid-slat, roller-system pool covers in all shapes and sizes. But even though customers want to make sure their swimming pools are as environmentally friendly as possible, no one wants to forgo comfort and design. Granderath says, "That's why we offer attractive swimming pool covers that can be opened and closed by remote control from the comfort of a chaise longue. Alternative energy sources have also become popular in the pool and wellness sector - for example, swimming pool covers with solar-collecting profiles that absorb the free energy provided by the sun and transfer it to the water in the pool, and solar showers that use the "heat from the sky". Natural colours and natural materials are also in. A green thread runs through the entire sector, from swimming pool liners to garden furniture. Those who like it even greener will feel right at home in the special area presented by the German Society for Near-natural Swimming Facilities. Here, swimming pool and garden experts will demonstrate how enjoyable natural pools and swimming ponds can be. In other words, aquanale will present the entire spectrum of products from the swimming pool and wellness industries, ranging from tried and tested traditional products to fantastic fixtures of the future.
from 22 to 25 October 2013, Fair ground Cologne
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh