Dezeen promotion: Italian design brand Kartell has collaborated with Swiss bathroom company Laufen to create a new bathroom collection, which they presented in Milan earlier this month.
The bathrooms combine durable, innovative ceramic fixtures with a series of translucent polycarbonate furniture and accessories to create open, flexible spaces designed to work more like living rooms.
Wash basins are available in SaphirKeramik, a new scratch-resistant material that is ultra thin and nearly half the weight of normal ceramics.
Shelves, towel holders and stools designed with Milan-based duo Ludovica + Roberto Palomba can be ordered in hues including blue, orange or smoke grey, as well as transparent.
Accessories such as ribbed wall and pendant lights, and circular mirrors with pleated frames, all come in colours to match the furniture plus chrome and gold.
The range was displayed at Kartell's flagship store in Milan during the city's design week earlier this month.
Here is some additional information from Laufen:
The bathroom Kartell by Laufen, designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, is here.
Kartell by Laufen is a complete integrated project for the bathroom that is making its debut at ISH (Frankfurt, 12-16 March), the fair leader in the bathroom and energy world, followed by a launch to the international public at the Milan Furniture Fair (Milan, 9-14 April), where it was presented at the Kartell flagship store.
On one hand, Kartell, Italian, creative, colourful and iconic. The family company that has marked the history of design and revolutionised furnishing in the use of plastic materials for over 60 years now. On the other, Laufen, Swiss, rigorous and reliable. For 120 years, a great commitment to make culture in the bathroom and innovation in the production of ceramic sanitaryware.
Two companies that have a great deal in common, which is why they have chosen each other: an industrial approach to production, a vocation in research and technological innovation, an international market, a distribution with hundreds of retailers all over the world and a genuine passion for quality design.
Serving as the link between these two players are the award winning designers Ludovica + Roberto Palomba , who themselves are leaders in designing for the bathroom.
The Kartell by Laufen bathroom is a complete, integrated project, which came about from the original inspiring approach of Kartell, its design, its quality and its essence, which, through the interpretative project skills of Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, have combined with the innovation of Laufen, giving rise to a collection pervaded with the aroma of emotion.
Kartell by Laufen places itself on the market of desirability and seduction with a great persuasive capacity. A dream that is realizable, with sophisticated yet accessible, chic yet understated aesthetics.
With design and total quality as its watchwords, the Kartell by Laufen bathroom takes shape as an integrated architecture; an interconnected ecosystem where washbasins, sanitaryware, faucets, units, shower bases, bathtubs, lights and accessories coexist with the maximum flexibility, changing their appearance like chameleons to meet the taste requirements of all. The glassy transparencies of latest-generation polycarbonate and the bare edges of the totemic floor-mounted washbasin will attract those who love minimal, moon-like, rarefied environments; the ambered plastic, the round softness of the washbasin, the bathtub in the style of a infinity pool will seduce a public that is better disposed to decoration, to play, than ever.
The rigid geometry of the ceramic items is tempered by the multicoloured lightness of the plastic elements.
The colour project is a project within a project - the palette of colours has been reinvented; leaving aside primary colours, it is the tones of the earth, the oranges of sand, steel blue, warm whites tending towards yellow and cold ones turning into blue that emerge. For this free area of the house where the senses yield to the emotions, Kartell by Laufen, the bathroom has been born.
Shared values, the reasons for a project - there are many common values and motivations that have prompted the two companies to share this project.
It is a shared project of great innovation, which has required more than three years to develop, the result of the constant research that is part of the DNA of the two companies. The innovation also lies in the wide-ranging appeal of the bathroom, which takes shape in the transparency and expressive capacity of the colour project. With constant research Kartell has beautified the plastic materials to sight and touch and Laufen has revolutionised ceramics by making it an adaptive material.
Introduced in the new Kartell by Laufen bathroom is the revolutionary SaphirKeramik, a material that allows performance characteristics that were unthinkable until today. A radius of curvature of the corners up to 1-2 millimetres (until now the maximum reached was 7-8 millimetres) for washbasins thin as blades, of an extreme lightness, not only visual but actual - SaphirKeramik is a material weighing half that of normal ceramics - equal only to its inimitable mechanical resistance. An avant-garde material that cannot be scratched and withstands impact from chemical agents of detergents and limescale.
The Kartell by Laufen collection is produced to be sold on a large scale, a dimension that must enable the huge resources spent on technological research, design, marketing and communication to be absorbed. High investment is needed for the moulds with which the products are created, and which are employed in the research.
The new bathroom collection developed in synergy by the two brands will be distributed all over the world through the Laufen retail channels.
The idea is shared of design understood as an industrial product capable of manufacturing articles that are stylistically consistent with the DNA of the companies but that are eclectic, that have come about from the creativity of different designers presenting a different project approach. A design that is nevertheless far removed from the “on and off” diktats of the styles and fashions of the moment. The decision to entrust design projects to the best designers in the world and a natural aptitude to creating trends by launching iconic products on the market is common to the paths of both companies.
Sustainability and ethics
The vision is shared that it is the process and not only the product that must be sustainable. A cradle-to-the-grave approach that considers the total production impact Respect for the environment, the recyclability of materials, the need not to waste either energy or water and to limit CO2 emissions during transport. The idea is shared that the duration of a product is a value of sustainability that eschews a throwaway logic. A concrete response: the imperishable ceramics of Laufen, the indestructible plastic of Kartell. A virtuous circle that considers it ethical on the part of the industry and those who design to pose the problem of what happens both upstream and downstream of the product.