Product news: a tap presented by French designer Philippe Starck in New York this week uses half as much water as regular taps.
Ninety jets spurt combinations of air and water to give the sensation of more falling water than is actually being used. These nozzles are made of silicon to prevent limescale formation.
"We have created a new type of water, which we call 'empty water'," Starck told Dezeen. "You have the feeling of having a lot of water, but with less."
Designed for bathroom brand Axor, the Organic faucet is turned on at the nozzle to either an economy or a boost setting, keeping the hands low in the bowl to avoid splashing the surrounding basin and surfaces. It has a flow rate of 3.5 litres per minute compared to standard models that average seven litres per minute.
The temperature is preset at the top of the tap, so water comes out at the desired warmth each time it's used and none is wasted while fumbling to adjust the heat. "When we change temperature we lose a lot of water," said Starck. "We don't need to change temperature - we always use water at more or less the same temperature. That's why we've added a pre-set feature."
Its shape is derived from natural forms. "It's something very, very pure," he said. "The lines come from our body, from vegetation." This version is a development of the Starck's original design for Axor (below), first conceived 20 years ago and influenced by a simple outdoor farm tap.
We've recently featured a combined tap and hand dryer by Dyson, and other faucets on Dezeen include gently rounded bathroom fittings by Matteo Thun & Partners and a curving sculptural tap by Zaha Hadid.
Here is some more information from Axor:
Axor Starck Organic: Harmony of Head and Heart
New collection combines unique design with a responsible way to interact with water
“To me, the essence of our work lies in allowing people to experience our fascination with water in the best possible way”, says Philippe Grohe, Head of the designer brand Axor, “and to provide innovative solutions at the highest aesthetic and technological levels.” The new Axor Starck Organic bathroom collection meets all of these requirements. It was developed over a period of three years in close collaboration between Axor, the designer brand of Hansgrohe SE, and Philippe Starck.
“Philippe Starck was the right person to talk to about this project. In the 20 years we have worked together so far, he continuously inspired us to come up with radical ways of challenging established patterns of thought, behavior and design,” remembers Philippe Grohe. Philippe Starck explains what motivated him at the beginning of this project: “A new intuition came to me. It was a question of: ‘What is life, what is the energy of life?’ And I started to work from there – not with another process, but from a different angle and with the same concentration on the minimum.”
Focusing on the essence of things is what gave Starck the inspiration for this new collection. Unique, organic, minimalistic design, and harmonious lines, reminiscent of shapes we see in nature, characterize Axor Starck Organic. This gives the collection an exciting, powerful, sculptural immediacy. The two handles blend in visually with the body of the mixers. No matter what position the handles may be in, they will reflect a perfect image. Ergonomically speaking, they indicate the current setting naturally. Axor Starck Organic blends with the most diverse range of bathroom styles, and it is a strong aesthetic highlight in any environment.
Using water with greater awareness: separate controls for volume and temperature
The wash basin mixers in the new collection allow us to use water and energy intuitively, ergonomically, and economically. Water flow and temperature are controlled separately. With Axor Starck Organic, the water is turned on and off at the end of the spout. This is ergonomic because our hands are right where the water emerges and not a single drop falls where it shouldn’t. The temperature is regulated at the top of the mixer. There, it may remain in the energy-saving cold position or in any other preferred temperature setting. If the user wants to change the temperature, which is not always necessary, then this is done through a separate action.
Pioneering low water consumption without any compromise in functionality
Especially for the most frequently used wash basin mixers, the company’s spray research laboratory developed a new kind of water spray. Like a generous shower spray, it consists of 90 individual outlets, each producing countless gentle drops of water. This new and extremely efficient shower spray for the wash basin not only provides a new sensation, but it is also more functional because it covers a larger surface area.
With its pioneering new spray, the wash basin mixer from the Axor Starck Organic collection sets a new standard: a consumption of only 3.5 liters of water per minute, without any compromise in functionality. By comparison: on the international market, the standard for wash basin mixers is a flow rate of 7 liters per minute or higher. Only three years after restricting the flow rate of their entire range of wash basin mixers to an average of 5 liters per minute, Axor is extending the company´s pioneering role even further by achieving a generous flow rate of 3.5 liters per minute.
"Normal" instead of "Eco"
With Axor Starck Organic, less is more. A flow rate of 3.5 liters per minute without missing out on comfort means: the responsible use of water is becoming the positive norm. If a stronger spray is required on occasion, the flow rate can be increased to 5 liters per minute.
Innovative and sustainable
The name Axor Starck Organic not only stands for the collection’s design and responsible use of water and energy, but it also stands for sustainability that begins with the manufacturing process: thanks to the special construction of the mixer, the walls of the body can be cast using about one third less brass, hence consuming considerably less energy than a conventionally produced model would. Decoupled water conduits inside the mixer prevent direct contact between the water and the body of the mixer.
Like all Axor mixers, Axor Starck Organic is manufactured exclusively inside the Axor plant at Hansgrohe headquarters in Schiltach in the Black Forest. This plant is considered one of the most advanced of its type for many reasons, not the least of which is sustainability and performance. For Axor, “Made in Germany” is about more than just the location, however: it stands for the ultimate in quality and workmanship.
The collection for the entire bathroom: “Nature is at home everywhere”
The Axor Starck Organic collection consists of more than 40 products, covering all areas within the bathroom. Mixers for the wash basin come in four different heights and a wall-mounted solution. Mixers for the shower and bath tub focus on thermostatic technology for exposed and concealed-mounted solutions. In mid-2013, a new floor-standing bath mixer will be available. The collection is complemented with a range of accessories.