Letter from the future
When it originated Sonar, Laufen focused in particular on exploring the formal scope for new washstand solutions afforded by SaphirKeramik. In recent times, the washbasin appeared to have reached its natural design limits – the traditional ceramic materials used in bathrooms could be fashioned into only a restricted range of shapes, which imposed constraints on applications. Against this backdrop, SaphirKeramik has proved to be a game changer. For the Sonar collection, as an example, it has given rise to a 1000 mm double bowl washbasin that is no wider than a large single washbasin. In consequence, double bowl washbasins can now be installed even in small urban bathrooms without adversely affecting either bowl capacity or the bathroom layout. Likewise unprecedented is a floor-standing all-ceramic washbasin which, despite its small footprint, conceals all of the plumbing – a useful attribute in the case of renovation projects. The innovations also include a washbasin bowl only 340 mm wide. With the help of brackets it can be mounted in front of the wall, so it look like it is “floating”, and therefore does not necessarily require a washbasin top.
It’s not only the application scope, but also the aesthetic rulebook that’s being revised by SaphirKeramik. Patricia Urquiola, the designer commissioned by Laufen, has developed a distinctive D-shape, complemented in some cases by a sloping front, and a three-dimensional texture for the external surface of the washbasins. Her inspiration for the texture, which highlights the delicate aesthetics of the SaphirKeramik material, was provided by the way in which sound propagates in water. Never before have comparable ceramic shapes and surfaces appeared in a bathroom environment. A further innovative detail is the marginally sloping base of the washbasin bowls, which gently channels the water into a transverse recess and from there to a conventional outlet concealed beneath a removable SaphirKeramik cover.
The familiar washbasins, washbasin bowls and bathtub are now accompanied by a new 600 mm wide washbasin and an additional compact 1000 mm-wide double bowl washbasin. Both wall-mounted and countertop variants are available, and each one has a classic smooth exterior.
Patricia Urquiola has paired them with vanity units in elegant metallic finishes, namely gold, copper and titanium, and in a Nero Marquina finish, which is a black limestone with white veins. Alongside the colours, the austere geometric design of the furniture allows the shape of the washbasins to take centre stage and perfectly reflects their mass and scope. A tall cabinet creates additional storage space in the Sonar bathroom.
One of the highlights among the new items is the oval free-standing bathtub made of Laufen’s high-tech material Marbond. Measuring 1600 x 815 x 535 mm, its slender exterior is finished with the distinctive sound wave texture. The tub also possesses an integral faucet ledge. At once practical and chic, a round dish that simply attaches to the bathtub’s slender rim serves as a platform for body care essentials and wellness accessories. Also among the new items is a head and back rest, which further enhances the physical comfort provided by the Sonar bathtubs. It can also be combined with the Sentec bathtubs in the collections Val and Ilbagnoalessi.
Floor-standing and wall-hung WCs, each of them rimless and therefore easy to clean, have likewise been added to the product range, as has a bidet. They share the D-shape of the other sanitary ware in the collection and are tapered to the front, which adds a pleasant visual lightness to the design.
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