Surfaces are a hot topic. The COVID-19 crisis has greatly heightened our awareness of not only who, but what we come in contact with – anyone who has strapped gloves and a mask on before going shopping can attest to this. So while the act of touch can no longer be sequestered to the subconscious, spatial design can help ease the behavioural shift. We’ve observed this, as retailers and restauranteurs have scrambled to corona-proof their spaces, but now thinking long-term is on the table. Antibacterial surfaces are one means of boosting hygiene and safety in shared environments.  While their installation was merely optional pre-pandemic, it’s looking likely that these technically advanced products will be mandatory for the future of touch.


Photos: Alberto Strada



Self-cleaning, antibacterial, anti-pollution and anti-odour, Fiandre Architectural Surfaces’ Active photocatalytic ceramics line is ideal surfacing in the time of coronavirus. The Iris Ceramica Group brand came up with the eco-active product, committed to improving people’s living spaces. Integrated design company Progetto CMR utilized 16,088 m2 of the porcelain stoneware tiles – capable of counteracting 59 kg of nitrogen oxide emissions per year – for its project De Castillia 23, a ‘smog-eating’ building complex.


Photo: Nicola Zocchi



Two collections of faced panels and laminates, Paglia and Cheope are hygienically effective thanks to silver ions incorporated in the decorative layer of the textural surfaces. These ions attract bacteria, then block their cell reproduction. The technology – which reduces bacterial count by up to 99.9 per cent within 24 hours –has been tested according to ISO 22196:2011.



Caimi Brevetti

Constructed from fabric panels, polished aluminium, steel and cast iron Battista is a partition system that was designed by Michele De Lucchi and Sezgin Aksu for Caimi Brevetti. Battista’s panels are made from Trevira CS Bioactive textiles. Colourful and technical, the fabrics in the range are incorporated with bacteria-busting silver ions.




In a seaside village in Spain, a renovated tourist office is now equipped with a ventilated façade and Grespania Coverlam tiles, the surfaces of which are treated with H&CTiles, a ceramic application that significantly reduces nitrogen oxide pollution and provides self-cleaning, antibacterial and odour-removal properties.




Crafted for ‘healthy, safe and protective’ living spaces, Panaria’s Protect line of antimicrobial floor and wall tiles are created with Microban technology. The ceramic surfaces have a built-in shield, eliminating 99.9 per cent of surface bacteria. What’s more? Protect is resistant from wear and tear and climactic conditions.

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