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5 Designers Reinvent The Humble Bathroom Faucet

David Adjaye, Jean-Marie Massaud, Werner Aisslinger, and others design their own take on bathroom hardware for Axor.

  • <p>David Adjaye, Ritual</p>
  • <p>Werner Aisslinger, The Sea and the Shore</p>
  • <p>FRONT, Water Steps</p>
  • <p>GamFratesi, Zen</p>
  • <p>Jean-Marie Massaud, Mimicry</p>
  • 01 /06
  • 02 /06

    David Adjaye, Ritual

  • 03 /06

    Werner Aisslinger, The Sea and the Shore

  • 04 /06

    FRONT, Water Steps

  • 05 /06

    GamFratesi, Zen

  • 06 /06

    Jean-Marie Massaud, Mimicry

Every year, the bathroom hardware-maker Axor asks a different group of international designers to envision the future of the bathroom. The project, called WaterDream, has seen its fair share of zany concepts—see last year's entry from Nendo, which designed a floor lamp that also doubled as a portable shower.

This year, though, WaterDream has jettisoned the wackiness, with a series of faucets created by five notable designers and architects, each of whom took their design cues from the natural world.

The first faucet, called Ritual, was designed by British architect David Adjaye. A wedge of bronze, the faucet functions by letting water gush out beneath a black granite inlay, almost like a hidden stream trickling out from beneath a mountain. The second faucet is called The Sea and the Shore, designed by the German furniture-maker Werner Aisslinger. It's a planter-fountain hybrid that allows you to keep a plant alive from the same faucet with which you brush your teeth and wash your hands.

Swedish design duo Front contributed Water Steps, a sculptural metal spout which tumbles water between two tiers of concave metal cones. Another design duo, the Danish-Italian firm GamFratesi, contributed Zen, inspired by shishi-odoshi—the traditional Japanese wood fountains that let water trickle down through the hollowed-out spigot of a bamboo branch. The last faucet is Mimicry, a three-tiered marble faucet that combines a classic material with an abstract, geometric design. It was designed by Jean-Marie Massaud, a previous WaterDream designer who came back for round two.

Debuting today at Milan Design Week 2016, all of the faucets were designed using Axor's U-Base system, which gives industrial designers far more flexibility in their designs than traditional fixtures. According to the company, all the faucets are meant to examine "the meaning and value of water in our living space ... while testing the limits of individualization." The system is designed to make bespoke faucets much easier to create for architects, designers, and anyone else who might not have expertise in bathroom hardware design. If you've got a bathroom redesign in the works, like I do, they make for great eye candy.

All Images: via Axor Design

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