Part 3 of my report on ISH 2013 from Frankfurt, Germany.
Although this year seemed a little down on exhibitors and overall showing a conservative approach to new design, there were still many standouts. Some companies, notably Dornbracht, eschewed new shapes and finishes for a focus on useability and electronic aids. I concentrated on trends within the design envelope.
First up is this faucet by Laufen and Kartell, which I mentioned briefly in my report on fixtures last week. Similar to a faucet by Starck, there is a flat surface on top for storage of bathroom items. Above it is naked… and here:
…seen from the side with the polycarbonate Kartell “caddy” on top. I really don’t like this piece too much; if you consider the caddy moveable, what if you or somebody else puts a bar of soap on top of the naked faucet – and then you want to put your caddy on top? The soap will leave residue on the bottom of your caddy, if you put it there next. Also, I don’t like the “business end” of the faucet being hidden. I like to see where the water will be coming from. I would rather see Kartell make little caddies that fit into spaces on the lavs perhaps, or on the mirror, accessories or something along the side.
Above is a nice design, with the square base and round lever language perhaps being in slight conflict. Below are two faucets I noted the shape of, only because they look like things I have been developing for my client. I didn’t note the makers.
These were not the only pieces similar to some ideas I had. It isn’t easy coming up with something completely new of course. Next, a nice shower set in white. Colors (instead of plated surfaces) were down a little this year, but there were still some very nice examples.
I think the sharp vertical edges of this design lend itself to powder coating, as opposed to plated finishes. The edges will be very hard to get right if plated, as the polishing of the brass/zamac is critical and usually done by hand. The thickness of the powder probably hides any flaws. It was quite crisp, however.
Now that I have mentioned colors, a company called Treemme is next. These faucets were by far the coolest new designs I have seen this year. There were wall mounts, lav mixers and a clever two-handle lav top faucet. Designed by Emanuel Gargano, Marco Fagioli and Giampiero Castagnoli. Just stunning.
A different take on 5mm, and a lovely one. I will need one of these too, for my powder room on the first floor. Also shown were these high arc faucets, similar to some designs I saw from Ritmonio a few years ago. The thin spout is just great.
Lastly, here was an “industrial chic” style faucet from Waterworks/THG. This was the only sign of the industrial/factory trend I saw at the show. This trend is completely saturated in North America and I’m glad to see it is not very prevalent in Europe. That said, this was probably focused on America, being Waterworks. Interesting piece but not my cup of tea.
I finished up my trip to Germany by heading northwest on Deutsche Bahn, to visit my friends at SieMatic. It is easy to then fly back home from Amsterdam, which gives me some time to take in some strolls along the canals in Jordaan and Centraal. Of course, I walked my favorite street again, Langestraat. This alley-type street is just amazing. I love how there is no sidewalk, the houses are pretty much at grade level, and the height and width proportion is just right.