wafer-thin wash basins by konstantin grcic use LAUFEN's saphirkeramik
original content
may 05, 2014
wafer-thin wash basins by konstantin grcic use LAUFEN's saphirkeramik


konstantin grcic designs wafer-thin washbasins using LAUFEN’s saphirkeramik
image courtesy of LAUFEN

 

 

 

in 2013, after five years of intense research and development, LAUFEN debuted saphirkeramik – a ceramic material filed for patent that has since revolutionized the bathroom landscape. to celebrate its release, the swiss company that leads the field with the manufacturing of sanitary porcelain products, worked with italian company kartell – another expert in its own right for its innovative use of polycarbonate plastic in the production of furniture – to deliver ‘kartell by LAUFEN‘, a line of washbasins and other bathroom elements designed by ludovica and roberta palomba that express the possibilities of saphirkeramik’s technical and aesthetic properties.

konstantin grcic LAUFEN saphirkermik designboom
LAUFEN’s presentation of konstantin grcic’s wash basins employing saphirkeramik at the 2014 salone del mobile
image courtesy of LAUFEN

 

 

 

noted characteristics of saphirkeramik are its strength and malleability, which permit the realization of wafer-thin ceramic walls that measure a thickness of 3-4mm, and radii of 1-2mm, offering sturdy but minimal profiles, resulting in more environmentally-friendly, lightweight and space-saving pieces. this is made possible by corundum – a transparent mineral found in sapphires – which is  in its composition, and has proven to have a flexural resistance that is comparable to that of steel.

konstantin grcic LAUFEN saphirkermik designboom
up close of the installation
image courtesy of LAUFEN

 

 

 

says alberto magrans, senior managing director of LAUFEN of the introduction of saphirkeramik to the industry:
the materials used to make ceramic sanitary ware have remained the same for years, yet they have changed in all other disciplines of product development this is why we have created a new ceramic of unprecedented strength, that gives designers huge freedom to innovate.’

konstantin grcic laufen saphirkeramik designboom
grcic has designed several products that look at how saphirkeramik can be used as a surface application
image © designboom

 

 

 

already accomplished in manufacturing pieces out of saphirkeramik on an industrial scale for the contract market, LAUFEN continues to address its potential for yielding extremely thin, super-strong forms, by engaging in collaborations with international designers; giving them free reign to explore and harness saphirkeramik’s unprecedented qualities in their own way.   

konstantin grcic laufen saphirkeramik designboom
konstantin grcic and LAUFEN’s saphirkeramik
image © designboom

 

 

 

LAUFEN commissioned konstantin grcic, who rather than taking it to the extreme, wanted to find the best way to apply and show its possible applications in a more understated way. his response is a series of washbasins and accessories, including unfixed trays, that express a subtle interpretation of detail that the porcelain delivers through the integration of different surface characteristics and patterns with fine definition. though grcic’s designs may seem to be purely decorative, they do in fact serve functional purposes, the textured areas preventing objects from slipping, while also minimizing stains. he wanted to create washbasins that were ‘simple, functional, more architectural, not too expressive.’ on his product development for LAUFEN and the use of saphirkeramik, konstantin grcic has said, ‘not only can we create large shapes, but we can also go into surface treatment, something which is not common in bathroom ceramics.’

 


konstantin grcic shares his experience with LAUFEN and working with saphirkeramik
video © designboom

 

 

 

grcic’s partnership with LAUFEN will see his work with the company unfold in two parts. the initial wash basin prototypes – one being rectilinear, the other being a mixture of circular and rectangular, and trays – were presented by LAUFEN on the occasion of the 2014 salone del mobile. together, over the course of the coming year, they will continue to develop these concepts into a comprehensive range of bathroom ceramic products at the ISH frankfurt sanitaryware fair in 2015.

konstantin grcic laufen saphirkeramik designboom
from left to right:
marc viardot, director of marketing + products at LAUFEN; charlotte talbot, assistant to konstantin grcic; and konstantin grcic, industrial designer
image © designboom

 

konstantin grcic LAUFEN saphirkeramik designboom
konstantin grcic inspecting the finished wash basins
image courtesy of LAUFEN

 

konstantin grcic LAUFEN saphirkeramik designboom
konstantin grcic together with the LAUFEN team looking over the finished designs
image courtesy of LAUFEN

 

konstantin grcic LAUFEN saphirkeramik designboom
image courtesy of LAUFEN

 


marc viardot, director of marketing and products at LAUFEN on the company’s collaboration with konstantin grcic
video © designboom

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