Adjaye, Front and more create sculptural bathroom taps for Axor

Milan 2016: bathroom brand Axor has worked with architects and designers including Front, David Adjaye and GamFratesi to create a range of unusual faucets (+ slideshow).

Axor started the WaterDream project to develop innovative bathroom solutions by encouraging lead designers to challenge industry norms.

The venture has previously led Nendo to create a surreal furniture installation combining showers with a series of lamps, and Philippe Starck to create the Organic Tap that uses half as much water as regular taps.

Water steps by Front Waterdream collection for Axor at Milan design week 2016
Front imagines flowing water as a "performance" with Water Steps

Axor presented its latest set of collaborators with a new mechanism that frees the spout of many of the usual technical requirements.

The brand asked the designers to present their own visions for the "meaning of water within the living spaces of tomorrow," prompting experiments with new materials and forms.

"They said 'you can rethink what a tap can be', which was music to our ears as designers," said Sofia Lagerkvist, co-founder of Stockholm-based Front, which has previously worked with Axor on a shower installation created from a maze of copper pipes.

The studio's proposal for this year's collection, Water Steps, allows the stream to tumble through a series of sculptural bowls "using the flow of water as a decorative element."

Ritual by David Adjaye Waterdream collection for Axor at Milan design week 2016
David Adjaye's concept, Ritual, frames the flow of water within a bronze channel

The form of conical metallic "steps" attempts to play with a tap's typical material by moulding it into an unusual and more natural shape.

For the design, the duo imagined the trickling sound created by falling water as part of the its multi-sensory "performance".

"We liked the idea of working with sound because it's not something designers usually think about," Lagerkvist told Dezeen.

Zen by GamFratesi Waterdream collection for Axor at Milan design week 2016
GamFratesi's Zen design references Japanese wooden fountains

Other contributors to the collection include David Adjaye, a British architect whose first retrospective was exhibited at the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennale.

Adjaye's concept, Ritual, intends to frame the flow of water within a bronze channel and beneath a wedge-shaped granite inlay.

Mimicry by Jean Marie-Massaud Waterdream collection for Axor at Milan design week 2016
Other proposals include Mimicry, a marble tap by Jean-Marie Massaud

GamFratesi, a Danish-Italian duo, took inspiration from Japanese wooden fountains for Zen, their addition to the series, attempting to reconnect our understanding of water with nature.

Other proposals include Mimicry, an architectural marble tap by Jean-Marie Massaud and The Sea and the Shore, a clay basin with a small shelf by Werner Aisslinger.

The Sea and the Shore by Werner Aisslinger Waterdream collection for Axor at Milan design week 2016
The Sea and the Shore, a clay basin by Werner Aisslinger, is also on show

The Waterdream collection is being presented as part of FuoriSalone from the 11 - 17 April, 2016 at the Axor showroom in Via Durini 15 as part of the 2016 Milan design week.

For Milan design week 2016, Front has also created a rocking horse for Thonet based on the company's iconic steam-bent wooden chairs. Also on show at the event is Hay's 2016 collection which includes a flat-pack sofa designed by the Bouroullec brothers.

Photography is by Uli Maier.