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Duravit's cultural collaborations

Monday 24 Mar 2014

Insight from Thun, Starck and Tchoban...

Onto, Inipi, Esplanade 
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Duravit explores cultural aesthetics through collaborations with international architects 

How we communicate, how we dress, what we eat - all this is part of our culture, part of where we come from. Country-specific practices shape values and patterns of behaviour, as well as a sense of style and aesthetics. Our likes are also reflected in our bathroom furnishings. Some prefer a minimalist interior, whilst others tend towards bright colours and sweeping shapes. So is there one particular bathroom design that combines different cultural influences at international level whilst retaining its own distinctive style?

For example, in Japan, bathing is celebrated as a ritual. Japanese baths are generally soaking tubs in which the user sits immersed up to the neck in water. Cleansing itself takes place before the actual bath; bathing is for relaxing. Architect and designer Matteo Thun translated this tradition into a contemporary design: with dimensions of just 140x80 cm, the Onto bath by Duravit is 56 cm deep, enabling the bather to become completely immersed in hot water - just as in the Japanese soaking tubs.

The natives of North America regarded sweating as a cleansing process and a way of promoting good health. The 'sweat tent', developed especially for this purpose, inspired the EOOS Austrian design collective to create an innovative concept for Duravit: the Inipi sauna blends into the bathroom and living area. A sauna session can be tailored entirely to individual tastes as the temperature, air humidity, coloured light and sound can be saved in the form of a personal user profile.

The architectural style of St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, is characterised by large buildings in warm, muted colours and decorated with golden ornamentation. Russian architect Sergei Tchoban was inspired by this classical opulence when he created the Esplanade bathroom range for Duravit. The collection is full of character and combines spaciousness and prominent forms with contemporary architecture and a clear, minimalist design. There is a deliberate focus on materials such as dark, solid wood that are typical of this style.

Sophisticated bathroom design is popular all over the world. This does not mean having to compromise: Duravit works with high-profile international designers, such as Philippe Starck, Lord Norman Foster and Sieger Design, who translate cultural preferences and enduring, international trends into bathroom worlds that transcend regional peculiarities and fashion trends. 

Duravit is a feature sponsor of WAD14 in Shanghai.

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