A new aesthetic and functional take on the bathroom
The company has developed new possibilities for its SaphirKeramik, one of the most exciting bathroom material innovations of recent years. This particularly slim-profile and robust material has revolutionised the conventions of bathroom design, kick-starting a trend towards a lighter styling with a more pronounced graphic aesthetic.
Laufen is now working with the fourth generation of SaphirKeramik in which it showcased, in addition to its form and aesthetics, some inspiring new possibilities for this material. Now that the Swiss bathroom brand has perfected the industrial process used to manufacture SaphirKeramik, it is able to offer new takes on the humble washbasin and even new applications for it, for example double washbasins in single-washbasin sizes, washbasin bowls with an integral overflow, or freestanding washbasins with a minimal footprint – new ideas that are simply unthinkable with conventional ceramic bathroom products.
To implement its design ideas, Laufen has worked with internationally celebrated designers such as Marcel Wanders, Patricia Urquiola and Konstantin Grcic. The result? Stunning yet practical everyday products for the bathroom environment that offer designers and architects exciting new opportunities when it comes to creating high-end bathrooms.
Laufen has built upon the success of its shower toilets with a new version that focuses very much on the user benefits and concentrates on keeping the user interface as efficient as possible.
It goes without saying that Laufen is also taking responsibility for the company’s impact on people and the environment, because the rational use of water and recycling wastewater are fundamental to our future and represent significant challenges and opportunities. To this end, the bathroom products manufacturer has begun a fruitful cooperation with EOOS to develop the Austrian design company’s revolutionary proposal for a new kind of waste-separation WC (developed for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) into a marketable product. At the ISH, Laufen presented this groundbreaking innovation that is set to revolutionise the sanitary industry and relieve pressure on the existing wastewater infrastructure in fast-growing cities all over the world.
Laufen has also formalised its responsibility for its use of resources and environmental impact in a new environmental product declaration (EPD). For this, the company has completed certification of the environmental quality of its complete ceramics range across all of its Central European manufacturing plants in accordance with ISO14025, EN15804 and EN16578.
Laufen has also been developing trendsetting new bathroom networking and digitalisation ideas. In this area, the bathroom specialist has focused on public and semi-public sanitary areas, where networked concepts bring the greatest benefits. The company now offers a complete solution for networking electronic washbasin faucets and urinal and shower controls in public facilities. And when it comes to incorporating elegant and discreet digital functionality in private bathrooms, true to form, Laufen has successfully combined technology with aesthetics.
In addition, the company has been working on improving and expanding its existing range, adding new products and new options in just about every area in its bid to offer bathroom designers more freedom and bathroom users superior benefits and greater choice.
Hall 3.1, Stand B51
Laufen’s new products and innovations have been showcased on a spectacular stand in Hall 3.1, Stand B51, for which the company employed the talents of internationally renowned Swiss architects Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler. The two architects have been instrumental in creating a stand that reflects the roots of the Swiss brand while making it clear from the moment one sets foot inside that Laufen is one of the most influential bathroom fixtures and fittings companies in the world.
The stand’s external appearance takes inspiration from the bathroom manufacturer’s production process: while the signs of wear at the main entrance suggested the history of this skilled trade, the bathroom product casts on display have taken on the appearance of contemporary sculptures. The industrial look of the cement-bound chipboard panels is reminiscent of rough-cast concrete.
Three low entrances lead into a large central atrium where video projections have been screened. A tongue-in-cheek shower-toilet fountain takes pride of place here, and has brought a pleasant coolness to the warm atmosphere inside the atrium.
From the atrium visitors could make out four further rooms with high-gloss surfaces showcasing the different products. These represented bathroom environments in an abstract way, bestowing an artistic dimension on the Laufen products on show.
“For Laufen we wanted to create unusual, almost out-of-place and in some cases ironic bizarre elements that give the installation a lightness and a cultural dimension,” explained Gabriele Hächler and Andreas Fuhrimann.