Daring to be distinctive
"How can architects and interior designers better understand their clients’ personal evolving desires, developing distinctive and sustainable long-term solutions that give meaning and satisfaction for years to come? And how can their clients get to spaces designed for their very individual needs? These and other questions are explored in our new project Distinctive", says Arne Sohn, Head of Global Brand Marketing, about the new AXOR project. In this project the Hansgrohe Group’ design brand focuses on the topic of "individualization" in the form of a Whitepaper and shows us what personal luxury in the bathroom can look like. Part of the ‘Distinctive’ project hinges on collaboration with notable architects and designers such as Tristan Auer, Maison Sarah Lavoine and Hadi Teherani, who have now designed their own bathroom worlds in which architecture and furnishings complement each other perfectly.
As part of the project, AXOR gave Paris-based architect Tristan Auer the brief to design an apartment for himself: "For me, it was a gift to be able to do this project because it’s always very interesting to work for myself," he explained. "I could be crazy and not have to please anybody or seduce anybody or teach anything." Auer, who describes himself as an "architect of interiors and emotions" allowed himself to be inspired by the design of a high-rise apartment building in Hong Kong, and transformed the reference into a retro-futurist scenario: "You know ‘Blade Runner’ from Ridley Scott? Hong Kong is like that — something which is building on top of itself. Different layers. You have the crowd on the street level, and then, as you elevate, it’s more and more futuristic. It’s why I combine old antiques pieces with very modern textures," he explains when describing the concept.
Based on the aesthetics of the 1980s, he uses a range of materials such as reflective stainless steel or light and dark travertine, staged with the use of expressive neon lighting. These are joined by various bathroom products such as "AXOR Edge" fittings by Jean-Marie Massaud, whose diamanté prism-structure sets creative highlights in the room. The fittings of the washstand and the freestanding bathtub are executed in the "AXOR FinishPlus" surface in "Polished Gold Optic". At the same time, the "AXOR Universal Rectangular Accessories" as well as the "AXOR ShowerHeaven" and the "AXOR Edge Thermostatic Module" designed by Philippe Starck also come into play in the space. In all of this, the individual approach is what is most important to Tristan Auer: "Distinctive means being an influencer and not a follower. Trust yourself, trust your taste, and assume it and show it."
For the ‘Distinctive’ project interior architect Sarah Poniatowski, founder of Maison Sarah Lavoine, who is also based in Paris, designed a bathroom for a holiday home by the sea. With its idyllic look and feel, the concept provides the greatest possible contrast to Tristan Auer’s approach: "I have a deep connection with the south-west region of France. It’s so authentic, and nature is everywhere. It’s the most relaxing place in the world for me. This is where the inspiration stems from. The goal was to emphasize the surroundings with an indoor-outdoor bathroom and create a relaxing space with a summer holiday feeling."
Correspondingly, the boundaries between interior and exterior dissolve here. Natural materials such as raw pine wood and travertine characterize the interior, while the turquoise tiles denote the zones of the shower and bath areas. The "AXOR Starck Collection" executed in the "AXOR FinishPlus" surface in "Brushed Bronze", together with the "AXOR Universal Circular Accessories" used throughout lend the space a minimalist note. A further element is the outdoor shower area with an "AXOR Starck Nature Shower" ensuring a seamless transition of the interior design outside. The trend towards individualization also plays a central role In Sarah Poniatowski’s own work: "To me, it is about designing projects that consider a person as a whole: their taste, their needs, their lifestyle. No one is the same, and this is what I love about my job — meeting people and creating something like nothing before."
The third project was created by architect Hadi Teherani, who was born in Teheran and grew up in Hamburg. Asked how he would define a "bathroom with personality", Teherani responded with a design that reflects his very personal vision: "It is a space where I can retreat, throw off the stress, and come out reborn," he explains. "I see the bathroom as a space where I can clean myself — in a metaphorical sense as well. Here is where I arm myself for the day. This space protects me, offers me security, but at the same time, it doesn’t restrict me but rather gives me a feeling of space and infinity."
As a consequence, his design takes the shape of a domed building located at the center of a house or a hotel suite. The circular room can be accessed from several sides and zones within it are marked out through four symmetrically placed window openings and round arches. A silver glass mirror mosaic running from the floor all the way up into the dome lends the space a meditative and at the same time sensual aura. At the center is an organically shaped bathtub combined with a spacious shower and an oval double vanity. The "AXOR Citterio E" fittings, the "AXOR overhead and hand showers" and the "AXOR Universal Softsquare Accessories" in "Matt Black" provide a color contrast to the surface of the walls and ceiling. Hadi Teherani defines the individual luxury of his design as follows: "This concept is, so to speak, the basis with primary areas needed in a bathroom: washbasin, shower, bathtub. The design allows one to complete the bathroom according to personal ideas. Or to equip it with faucets and showers in special finishes. This type of individualization is a further form of luxury."