DURAVIT DESIGN WEEK

A party on October 25th kicked off the Duravit Design Week. New collections created in collaboration with Philippe Starck, Sieger Design, Sergei Tchoban, Matteo Thun and EOOS were launched. One of the things that caught my eye was the shower enclosure shown below. The mirrored and glass partitions fold back much like large cabinet doors hiding the shower fixtures and creating an impression of a much larger space. I remember seeing a similar prototype at last years ICFF. Looks like a begining of a new trend. Other interesting products were creative storage solutions.

NYC Duravit showroom.

AXOR SHOWROOM OPENS IN NYC

The Axor brand of bathroom fixtures collaborates with some of the world’s most talented designers and architects to create outstanding design collections.  Collaborators include Phillipe Starck, Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola and Jean-Marie Massaud.

The Axor NYC showroom opened this week and we were finally able to experience the entire assortment of fixtures in person.  The showroom shares a space with the Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra.  Each design line has its own display area, there are also several room displays.  A nice touch is a long black water basin with most of the Axor shower heads lined up.  Visitors can turn on each individual shower head to test its flow.  Although the music was a touch too loud, the wine a tad too warm and the hors d’ouvres did not feature enough vegetarian options, we enjoyed the opening party and will definitely visit the showroom again.

Axor showroom opening party 1

Axor showroom opening party 2

Axor showroom opening party 3

Axor showroom opening party 4

MARAZZI OPENS IN MANHATTAN

Last Wednesday NY Stone Manhattan hosted a party to celebrate the opening of their new Marazzi showroom. NY Stone is located at 30 W 21st Street and the new Marazzi showroom is on the second floor in the same building. The ground floor features incredible stone slab collection from around the world, but the ceramic tile collection upstairs is equally impressive. The tiles are uniquely proportioned. There is a subtle palette of grays and naturals as well as well balanced vivid color palette. Marazzi also offers textures and 3 dimensional solutions.

ICFF Parties

We dropped by several of the parties organized by showrooms around the ICFF calendar.  Those events do not necessary feature any new products, but they create an opportunity for architects and designers to get together in an inspiring setting.  Design professionals need a break, too, after walking the entire Javits Center in one day.

The Friday party at the Nemo showroom actually featured some new stainless steel tile.  The Saturday event at the BY New York Boffi showroom was well attended.  The showroom itself, located on the top floor of a Soho townhouse, did not feature many items at all.  But we did spot a classic Boffi lavatory and bathtub.  The space itself is gorgeous, with tall ceilings, exposed roof joists and several skylights.  This party was very well attended.  One of the hours d’oeuvres served there was basil ice cream in miniature cones.  An interesting visual concept with a novel taste.

Party at the Nemo showroom.

Party at the Nemo showroom.

Boffi party.

Boffi party.

Washbasin in Boffi showroom.

Washbasin in Boffi showroom.

Bathtub in Boffi showroom.

Bathtub in Boffi showroom.

Floor mounted tub filler.

Floor mounted tub filler.

Basil ice cream.

Basil ice cream.

The Agape showroom in Soho is relatively new and a bit out of the way.  Perhaps this is why their Monday night party was not very well attended.  The pieces on display are lovely. We admire the matte Cristalplant material many of the fixtures are made of.  The Toto showroom was a bit more crowded, perhaps for the selection of Thai hours d’oeuvres served on a mountain of lettuce.  Or the two types of drinks mixed at the bar – “clean” and “green” – representing the two pillars of the company’s philosophy.

Agape party.

Agape party.

Agape Ottocento bathtub.

Agape Ottocento bathtub.

Floor mounted bathtub filler.

This floor mounted bathtub filler well paired with the Ottocento tub.

Party at Toto.

Party at Toto.

Clean or green.

Are you clean or are you green? Toto is both.

 

ICFF 2011

Few interesting things at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair this year. All of them happen to be prototypes yet to be developed further or mass produced.

First one up is from Modproducts, a New York City based company whose motto is “we know our sh*t”. This appears to be an accurate statment. Brett Teper and Rich Williams presented a toilet seat: LOU Jr – the kids toilet seat. The seat also features recessed handles and a reminder to close the lid. Something for everyone in the family.

 

AF Supply Lab collaborated with 3 design firms and presented a few exciting concepts.

 

One of my favorites was a concept developed with Yoshimi Kono: a bathtub designed for an alcove installation, but done in such a way that it appears freestanding. The shower and its controls are in a cabinet above it, the cabinet’s door when open would serve as a partition while showering. The details and materials are still to be worked out. Both great ideas, that don’t quite go together in my opinion, but would be promising beginnings to separate collections.

 

Desai / Chia came up with a clever washbasin design called Lavatory Unit. We recently featured and admired Recess Lav by the same designer. Lavatory Unit is an equally great solution for small bathrooms and for people who don’t necessarily want backsplash tiles. The Surface Series bathtub was quite beautiful and super functional as well, with built in shelves on either end eliminating need for additional wall niches or shelves for shampoo and soap.

Building Blocks by Messana O’rorke – geometrical facets. Clean lines and elegant proportions.

 

Infinity Drain presented 2 new designs. The new linear drain is only 1 inch wide and it is very discrete. The other new design is square and it comes in two different sizes. The standard finish is matte stainless steel, which can also be polished. Other finishes are available upon request.

ICFF 2011

International Contemporary Furniture Fair is upon us. We will be attending several events and reporting on the latest and greatest. The line-up is:

Friday, May 13: Nemo Tile, www.nemotile.com

 

Saturday, May 14: Boffi, www. boffi.com

 

Sunday, May 15: ICCF at Javits convention Center, www.icff.com

 

Monday, May 16: Toto, www.totusa.com

UNIFORM AT DURAVIT SENSOWASH STARCK LAUNCH PARTY

Uniform Design attended the Duravit Sensowash Starck launch party held at the Manhattan Duravit showroom on April 7th.  The catering was splendid, as was the attendance.  The stars of the night were the Sensowash Starck: a combination toilet and bidet, and its designer Philippe Starck.  Monsieur Starck spoke about the idea of nature being in constant movement.  The human of today is not perfect, but constantly striving towards perfection.  The Sensowash brings us one step closer to perfection, Mr. Starck claims.  A combination toilet and bidet has been used in the Asian cultures for a long time, but Mr. Starck is convinced that this product will finally be embraced by the Western culture also.  When asked by a member of the public to demonstrate the operation of the Sensowash, Mr. Starck declined.  However, he assured the audience that he tested the fixture multiple times a day during the prototyping process.

We like the idea of a combination toilet and bidet.  It will allow the installation of a bidet in even the smallest of bathrooms.  The design is clean and unobtrusive.  We agree with Mr. Starck that the Western culture will only benefit from a more widespread use of the bidet fixture.

Duravit Sensowash Starck launch party

Water was not the only beverage served at the Duravit Sensowash Starck launch party.

Uniform cofounder Magda Keck at the Duravit party.

Uniform co-founder Magda Keck at the Duravit party.

Albrecht von der Groeben, Head of International Sales for Duravit, speaks at the Sensowash Starck launch party.

Albrecht von der Groeben, Head of International Sales for Duravit, speaks at the Sensowash Starck launch party.

Designer Philippe Starck speaks at the Sensowash Starck launch party.

Designer Philippe Starck speaks at the Sensowash Starck launch party.

Mr. Starck used a body brush as an accessory during his speach.

Mr. Starck used a body brush as an accessory during his speech.