Thomas Bendel is a Berlin, Germany based architect whose projects I very much admire.  His approach to bathroom design is very interesting and bold.  He uses monolithic surfaces, cast stone and black stained wood veneer.  The bathrooms are very spare, clean and airy, but they do not feel sterile due to the use of wood and the warm color of stone. If you look at Thomas Bendel’s projects you will find that he approaches bathroom design in a similar manner as the design of other rooms, carefully arranging bold shapes and surfaces in otherwise empty spaces.

Bad Eulgem / Goldhammer Berlin bathroom.

Bad Eulgem / Goldhammer Berlin bathroom.

Bathroom in Haus Bold.

Bathroom in Haus Bold.

Haus Plath/Bosse 1

Haus Plath/Bosse 1

Bathroom in Haus Plath/Bosse.

Wohnung Braun 1

Wohnung Braun 2

Bathroom in Wohnung Braun.



Once in a while I find myself browsing for washbasins, and I kept noticing that one particular type of basins was catching my attention.  Or rather, it was a series of basin and washstand combinations, by Barclay.  What is it that kept me looking at this series?  Perhaps the simple, geometrical shape of the basins, or the equally simple, but rustic and bold design of the washstands.  Most definitely the striking effect the combination of those two is creating.  I also love the idea of having the basin to the side of the washstand, creating space for a make-up counter.  I am already dreaming of a country house in which I could place such a set…


Barclay Cube Basin

Cube basin and washstand.

Barclay Steps Basin

Steps basin and washstand.

Barclay Patricia Square Basin

Patricia Square basin and washstand.

Barclay Oval Basin

Oval basin and washstand.

Barclay Flat Basin

Flat basin and washstand.


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.


The Japanese bathroom aesthetic is in line if Uniform’s design sensibility: simple forms, use of natural wood and stone. The bathroom in Japan is not only a room for cleaning – it is a sanctuary, a space for calm and deep relaxation.  Below is a selection of designs that draw inspiration from different aspects of the rich Japanese culture.  The bathtub is the main focus here, as soaking tubs are an important element of the Japanese bathing ritual.

Bathroom by San Francisco architects Aidlin Darling Design.

Serenity reigns in this bathroom by San Francisco architects Aidlin Darling Design.


Japanese bathroom.

In a traditional Japanese bathroom the shower is situated right next to the bathtub. A stool is used to sit on while taking a shower.


Rapsel_Ofuro soaking tub.

The Ofuro soaking tub by Italian company Rapsel is made of movingui and larch wood. Designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez.


SeaOtter WoodWorks_Ofuro soaking tub.

The Ofuro soaking tub by SeaOtter WoodWorks is made of traditional Japanese hinoki wood.


Stocco_Origami bathtub.

The Origami bathtub by Stocco is simply stunning.


Urban Archaeology_Origami Tile.

Origami tile by Urban Archaeology takes wall tile to another dimension.


When we visited the new Axor showroom last week, one room display caught our special attention.  It was featuring the Axor Urquiola line of fixtures and accessories, designed by Patricia Urquiola.

Patricia Urquiola is one of the most talented designers of our times.  Her work is sophisticated and beautiful, with soft lines and good proportions.  The product line she created for Axor is simply astounding.  Gently curved, somewhat nostalgic and very functional, this series cannot be mistaken for any other.  It is beautifully presented in the NYC showroom, and we enjoy sharing some shots with you.

Axor Urquiola Single-Hole faucet

Axor Urquiola ingle-hole faucet

Axor Urquiola Freestanding Tubfiller

Axor Urquiola freestanding tubfiller

Axor Urquiola wall-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola wall-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroomAxor Urquiola shower system in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola top-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola top-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola shower system in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola shower system in the NYC showroom


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


Here is another great find from the Rapsel family of bathroom fixtures.  “Yume” is a combination washbasin, towel holder and container for used towels. The designer, Matteo Nunziati, drew his inspiration from 20th century abstract minimalism, focusing on the concepts of full and empty. “Yume” is made out of Nikron, an innovative, silkysmooth high‐tech material which reinforces the elegance of this design.




Although I would not necessarily use this product in any of my own designs, I think it is a very smart idea.  The Vertebrae Vertical Bathroom System by UK based Design Odyssey takes up the floor space of a toilet bowl and contains (almost) everything needed in a bathroom.  The top segments contain two shower heads and a water cistern, the mid section holds the washbasin and storage space, the base is the toilet.  Each component swivels around a central core.  I salute the concept of compressing all necessary functions into the smallest footprint possible.  This idea is definitely worth developing further.

Vertebrae vertical bathroom system

Vertebrae vertical bathroom system functions


Pedestal washbasins are not often used in bathrooms as they take away the storage space underneath.  But their sculptural qualities are often magnificent, and storage can be carved out in other places of the bathroom instead, like in oversized medicine cabinets.  I admire the monumentality and simplicity of these plumbing objects.

The Slash by Antonio Lupi

The Slash by Antonio Lupi.

Tender by Antonio Lupi.

Tender by Antonio Lupi.

PHC by Boffi.

PHC by Boffi.

VOL by Boffi.

VOL by Boffi.

Il Bagno Alessi One by Laufen.

Il Bagno Alessi One by Laufen.




Japanese born, Paris based designer Jun Yasumoto developed this “phyto purification bathroom” together with Alban le Henry, Olivier Pigasse and Vincent Vandenbrouck.

Phyto purification bathroom.


The diagram illustrates how the bathroom become s a mini-eco-system using this natural filtering principle by recycling and regenerating the wastewater.


Phyto-purification is a natural water-recycling process which is commonly used in ecological purification systems. During its filtering process, the water goes through different steps. The rushes are planted in sand which filters larger particles. The root system of the rushes contain various bacteria which break down these particles for absorption by the plant. The reeds are planted next to the rushes as they have the ability to filter the heavy metals from the water. The floating water hyacinths draw through their roots some of the water borne particles which are still present in the water. The lemnas, which are also aquatic plants, bind to the remaining aquatic micro-organisms to complete the filtering process. Finally, a carbon filter stops the remaining micro-particles.