Sonar Re-Imagines the Washbasin
The collection, designed by Patricia Urquiola for Laufen, uses high-tech ceramic to create sleek bathroom fixtures with a decorative twist.
With Sonar, a contemporary collection of sanitary fixtures, Swiss bathroom experts Laufen are taking full advantage of the design opportunities opened up by SaphirKeramik, a versatile, malleable, and durable ceramic material the company developed. A unique ceramic material with revolutionary high-tech attributes, Saphirkeramik is the result of years of research by Laufen to create a new generation of products.
Designed by Patricia Urquiola, Sonar re-imagines the washbasin, offering a selection of new shapes, configurations, and conveniences not found in traditional bathroom fixtures. Even the name of the collection hearkens to the material’s lightness and malleability, she says.
“I liked the idea of using the little waves generated by sound. The texture on the outside of the washbasin bowls was modeled on these waves. I not only wanted to work with the lightness of the ceramics, I also wanted to find a way to design its surface,” she says.
The inspiration of sound waves echoes throughout the collection, texturing the exterior surface of items such as the oval-shaped free-standing bathtub. Fitted with an integral faucet ledge and a round dish that attaches to the tub’s slim rim to hold body care essentials, the tub is a balanced combination of the practical and the chic.
The motif also finds its way into the D-shape of the collection’s basins and toilets, which recall the outward ripple of sound waves or a pebble dropped in water. A sloping front that’s available on several of the basins is made possible by the new material and channels water to a transverse recess where a drain concealed beneath a cover whisks it away.
Urquiola capitalized on the material’s lightness to add new products to the collection including a compact double bowl washbasin that, thanks to SaphirKeramik takes up only as much space as the single bowl version, without compromising on basin volume.
To accent the clean lines and sterile whiteness of the SaphirKeramik washbasins, she paired them with vanity units available in gold, copper, and titanium metallic finishes as well as a black limestone with white veins. The Sonar collection includes floor-standing and wall-mounted washbasins, two washbasin bowls and a double washbasin bowl, also available in white matt and all made of SaphirKeramik. All washbasin bowls can be ordered with textured or smooth surfaces; the washbasins are only available with smooth surfaces. A bathtub in the characteristic collection design, made of Laufen’s high-tech Sentec material, completes the ensemble.