by Markus Hieke | 3/15/2019
Black fittings, smart showers and weightless furniture: ISH 2019 offers everything the heart desires, but has virtually no answers when it comes to the reality.
Laufen commissioned the Dutch designer Marcel Wanders to create The New Classic in view of the outstanding reputation he has established worldwide with his extravagant style and innovative use of materials and technology. For the Swiss bathroom maker, he had all the credentials required to fashion a new contemporary design language utilising its SaphirKeramik material. The outcome is characterised by soft, gentle feminine curves reminiscent of the opening sepals of a flower, alongside angular, masculine elements. In view of the tension generated by this approach, the distinctive presence of The New Classic is regarded as unprecedented in the sanitary ware segment.
According to Marcel Wanders, “For the first time, the ultra-modern SaphirKeramik has been moulded into a classic and iconic form. This lightweight yet resilient material gave us the unique opportunity to celebrate the beauty of fine porcelain with our elegant, soft lines.”
While drawing inspiration from classical forms, Wanders was also eager to embrace a modern sense of style and the contemporary desire for functionality. His take on Neoclassicism, expressed here in The New Classic, maintains a consistent focus on indulgence, intimacy, humanity and everyday utility, while calling to mind the poetry and romance of bygone times.
To allow bathrooms to be fitted out completely with The New Classic, Laufen has assembled a very broad and versatile collection. At the washstand, countertop washbasins with an integral shelf and widths of 600, 800 and 1200 mm, a 500 mm-wide hand washbasin and a 550 mm-wide washbasin bowl cater for a variety of scenarios. Incidentally, the Laufen washbasin bowl presents a minor masterpiece: SaphirKeramik is renowned for its extremely fine walls with a thickness of around three millimetres, but Laufen has nonetheless succeeded in developing a bowl with an integral overflow and outlet – providing the ability to safely retain water in the bowl. The washstands share their design vocabulary with the bathtub that forms an integral part of the collection. Its generous dimensions of 1900 x 900 x 580 mm not only grab attention, but also make a very inviting impact. Among the irresistible arguments in favour of a long soak in the tub are its ergonomic, back-friendly form and the skin-soothing material Sentec from which it is made.
The characteristic aethetic of the range is likewise reflected by the wall-hung bidet and easy-care, rimless toilet bowls. The WC options encompass wall-hung, floorstanding and close-coupled toilets.
Laufen has placed an equally distinctive set of bathroom furniture alongside the ceramic ware of The New Classic collection. Its moulded door panels lend a classical touch to the understated design. For those who wish to add a further classical flourish and extra stability, the furniture is also available with gently curved legs. The set includes vanity units for both the countertop and vanity washbasins and the washbasin bowls, as well as a roomy tall cabinet for keeping the bathroom tidy. The choice of finishes for the furniture comprises a dark real oak veneer, gloss white and matt grey coatings. An especially elegant option is the walnut vanity stand, which is compatible with the countertop washbasins. It also serves as a towel rail, which is a welcome feature in any hotel or private bathroom.
To match the collection, Laufen has affectionately fashioned a range of accessories from SaphirKeramik. Among the items are a wall-mounted shelf, soap dish, toothbrush holder, toilet brush holder and an elegant oval mirror with the novel distinction of being framed in SaphirKeramik. A comprehensive collection of premium-quality faucets puts the finishing touch to The New Classic bathroom. Their characteristic design language embraces conical elements, a distinctive groove and a dividing line below the slender handle, and slim spouts. From a technical perspective, the polished chrome faucets for the washstand, bathtub, shower and bidet represent state of the art. In combination, the delicate organic aesthetics of the ceramic elements and the rigorous geometry of the furniture give rise to a Bohemian bathing environment that exudes a cosmopolitan, urban charm.
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