SaphirKeramik
Laufen Monday 06 Oct 2014

Laufen, with its clear vocation for experimentation, has collaborated with two exceptional designers Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen, called upon to get to grips with a type of ceramics that has truly never been seen before.

SaphirKeramik by Laufen is a material that has revolutionised the bathroom world due to its capacity to combine resistance, lightness and slimness. This compound, launched by the Swiss company on the occasion of ISH 2013, draws its strength from sapphire and is therefore twice as resistant, more ecological (fewer raw materials, less water in the mix, less weight in the transportation phase) and thinner than traditional ceramics, allowing a range of curvature of the corners of up to 1-2mm (until now the maximum reached was 7-8mm).

Grcic and Nguyen have worked with the company and the refined, almost limitless material, getting to grips with its expressive possibilities. Grcic has based his designs on a perfect combination of style and function, while Nguyen proposes a real reinvention of gestures.

Grcic's collection of washbasins are characterised by a simple, essential, architectural line and defined by a series of functional details, such as the parts for the anti-drip support, which take on a highly decorative value. Included are rectangular and circular elements of various dimensions, rendered unique by the subtle game of subtraction of materials offered by technology and embellished by the geometrical rhythms chosen for the surfaces.

Grcic explains: "One washbasin is bigger, the other rounder, the other squarer because the forms we have outlined respond to an open brief and envisage various different uses". These are just the first items in a story based on the creation of pieces that, like every good design product, ‘must have a meaning but also and above all be pleasing, enter into a relationship with the user, make them feel at home.'

Nguyen's washbasin honours a well-known series by Achille Castiglioni and is proposed as a revisiting of the archetype of the washbasin. It is an innovative project which has come about from the characteristics of SaphirKeramik, transforming them into an opportunity for reflection on what the normal interactions of the individual with the object are.

The result is a ‘classic' washbasin, inspired by tradition, yet at the same time extraordinary and different because it is incredibly slim, delicate and two-dimensional: the clear result of the crystallisation of an almost liquid form. The washbasin is completed by a shelf that responds to the eternal need to stretch out an arm, to put something down or pick something up.