Identified for co-operating with a number of the finest designers of our time, Swiss firm LAUFEN continues to point out how its heritage and thirst for innovation units it aside on this market. As soon as once more, by means of its use of the sport altering materials SaphirKeramik, it has proven simply how far it will probably push the boundaries of toilet design.
Launched for the primary time in 2013, this groundbreaking materials has opened up contemporary design alternatives in ceramic that the likes of Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, Konstantin Grcic, Toan Nguyen, and now Patricia Urquiola have been capable of exploit within the creation of lighter and smoother rest room design collections.
The fabric, ensuing from 5 years of intensive analysis by LAUFEN, has many revolutionary and high-tech attributes. Not solely does it permit thinner and lighter merchandise than conventional ceramic, it boasts extraordinary hardness and energy, making it extraordinarily proof against bending. These properties have been achieved by means of the addition of the colorless materials corundum, which can also be present in sapphires, and has the identical bending energy as metal.
Designers who’ve had the chance to work with this state-of-the-art materials have found that there are nearly no restrictions in creating wafer-thin merchandise with the smallest radii with this uniquely arduous ceramic. It permits them to fully rewrite the rulebook of what has historically been achievable in rest room ceramic design.
For its newest collaboration, LAUFEN has labored with the internationally acclaimed and eclectic designer Patricia Urquiola to disclose the third technology of SaphirKeramik. The brand new assortment, which is already the winner of a 2018 iF Award and Inside Design’s Better of 12 months Award 2018, known as SONAR and affords varied choices in washbasins, WCs, a bidet, new bathtubs and a set of toilet furnishings.
Speaking about whyLAUFEN selected Urquiola for this collaboration, Marc Viardot, Director of Advertising and Merchandise, says, “We had enormous admiration for her work but additionally for her character. I feel that is key for a collaboration, to make sure that the connection works nicely and also you create one thing that’s larger than the preliminary transient.”
Viardot was impressed with Urquiola from the get go so determined to start out with a smaller venture. Urquiola was introduced in to design the LAUFEN showroom in Madrid. What she created was an off-the-cuff setting that’s excellent to welcome business professionals, architects, inside designers, and builders. It was a brand new showroom idea, like a artistic collaboration area, the place creatives, architects, and technicians can meet and work collectively.
“From that venture it grew to become evident that we needed to take this relationship additional and supply Patricia the chance to work with our SaphirKeramik,” says Viardot.
So far as the transient goes, Viardot says that he allowed Urquiola extra freedom than he has executed in most of earlier briefs for a design collaboration. “We needed to take this to a different degree and discover one thing that was not already there. Considering in new dimensions requires you to transcend the same old course of so the connection must be very shut. For me the connection is extra vital than any transient.”
The transient was SaphirKeramik three.D. Viardot explains that it was not solely the third technology of SaphirKeramik, however it was additionally about exploring a 3rd dimension. “We had had some expertise working with Konstantin Grcic on texture, tactility, and reliefs, however I needed to discover this 3D facet additional. I additionally needed to discover one other dimension when it comes to typologies and software. And Patricia delivered on each duties very nicely.”
The ensuing assortment is characterised by a ceramic floor with ribbed texture and a slimline profile that lends the merchandise a gorgeous lightness. In latest occasions, the washbasin appeared to have reached its pure design limits – the normal ceramic supplies utilized in bogs could possibly be customary into solely a restricted vary of shapes, which imposed constraints on functions. However Urquiola was in a position to make use of SaphirKeramik to provide you with typologies for the washbasin that didn’t exist earlier than.
“Fashionable dwelling areas aren’t getting any larger and that is notably true of the lavatory,” says Viardot explaining that even within the premium dwelling sector the small proportions in bogs have been considerably ignored as we’ve continued to fill our areas with cumbersome sanitary ware and furnishings.
The SONAR assortment, because of the revolutionary properties of SaphirKeramik, has given rise to a 1000 mm double bowl washbasin that’s no wider than a big single washbasin. Double bowl washbasins can now be put in even in small city bogs with out adversely affecting both bowl capability or the lavatory format.
The gathering additionally incorporates a floor-standing, all-ceramic washbasin, which, regardless of its small footprint of solely 41cm large, conceals all the plumbing. For one more basin Urquiola pushed the boundaries even additional and got here up with a washbasin bowl solely 340 mm large. With the assistance of brackets it may be mounted in entrance of the wall, so it seems to be like it’s floating, and subsequently doesn’t essentially require a washbasin prime.
An additional revolutionary element to notice is the marginally sloping base of the washbasin bowls, which gently channels the water right into a transverse recess and from there to a traditional outlet hid beneath a detachable SaphirKeramik cowl.
What unites the entire assortment although, aside from the slim profile and small footprint of most of the items, is in reality the distinctive D-shape that Urquiola has used all through. Lots of the items are tapered to the entrance, which provides a nice visible lightness to the design.
“Rounded corners make sense in small areas,” says Viardot. “The whole lot had turn out to be very sq., very architectural and linear, to cover the bulkiness. However on this product we’ve the benefit of a geometrical form with a rounded entrance.”
The ultimate facet that basically units the SONAR assortment aside from another sanitary ware in the marketplace is in fact the three-dimensional texture on the exterior floor of the washbasins. The inspiration for this ingredient of the design was offered by the best way during which sound propagates in water.
“The aid is totally new,” says Viardot. “I don’t know another ceramic washbasin in the marketplace that has aid carved into the molds like that. We needed to develop a brand new manufacturing course of to realize this. It’s a good function due to the fabric and provides it a private contact. Folks at all times like to the touch SaphirKeramik merchandise as a result of they will’t imagine it’s so skinny and truly ceramic.”
Texture within the rest room isn’t essentially a brand new factor, in any case, we’ve seen textured tiles gaining in reputation over the previous few years. However by no means earlier than have comparable ceramic surfaces appeared in a toilet setting.
“I feel that individuals are beginning to crave tactility within the rest room additionally,” explains Viardot. “In that area you’re often bare with no layers between your pores and skin and the product. The surfaces are additionally usually fairly chilly on this setting. So we requested ourselves how we might make it extra tactile and sensual.”
And the SONAR assortment actually achieves that. Working with Patricia Urquiola, LAUFEN has managed to convey collectively the 2, typically conflicting, souls of the corporate: conventional craftsmanship and avant-garde know-how, with a view to launch a group that’s actually revolutionary when it comes to rest room design.
Stacey Sheppard is a UK-based freelance author and writer of the favored award-winning weblog The Design Sheppard. She focuses on writing about inside design. She has a specific penchant for kitchen and toilet design but additionally has a eager curiosity in surfacing and supplies. When she’s not working she may be discovered manically pinning inspiration for her own residence renovation venture. You’ll be able to observe Stacey on Twitter @StaceyJSheppard and Instagram @StaceyJSheppard.