As Duravit opens its new Clerkenwell showroom, the editor of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn, went behind the scenes to ask the Managing Director of Duravit, Martin Carroll, ‘why here’, ‘why now’ and ‘what’s next’…
Duravit has long been a leader in bathroom interior design, and the news of a swanky showroom unveiling in London’s Clerkenwell district – which is home to more creative business and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world – the question is not ‘why’, but more ‘why now’?
Ahead of the official launch at the showroom, I went behind the brand’s polished exterior to speak with Managing Director of Duravit, Martin Carroll, to find out more about the showroom that everyone is talking about.
Hamish Kilburn: Why is Clerkenwell such an important location for you?
Martin Carroll: Duravit is a major player in innovative bathroom designs and the UK is one of the most important and best performing export markets. Basing our London showroom in Clerkenwell will enable us to build closer relationships with the A&D community.
HK: How has the showroom been designed with the modern designer in mind?
MC: Duravit’s London showroom has been specifically designed to act as a hub for ideas, inspiration and technical advice. It will act as a platform to showcase Duravit’s extensive product portfolio, including products by renowned designers such as: Philippe Starck, EOOS, Phoenix Design, Kurt Merki Jr. and Cecile Manz with the aim to make designer bathrooms come alive.
HK: Other than the showroom, what’s new for Duravit?
MC: Duravit is launching a number of new product collections including Brioso and XSquare, which will be on display at the new Duravit London showroom. Duravit continues to collaborate on new international projects and recent partnerships include the Zaha Hadid – Opus Tower in Dubai and the Jean Nouvel – Louvre @ Abu Dhabi.
HK: What key bathroom trends are you seeing at the moment?
MC: The introduction of a wider range of colours and textures in bathroom furniture over recent year’s means more frequently people are now injecting their own personality into bathroom designs and being adventurous with colour schemes. Duravit’s L-Cube furniture series for example offers 30 different surface finishes so the scope for design freedom is practically unlimited. The new Brioso furniture range, has a total of 15 finishes which are available in various decors, real wood veneers or lacquers (matt and gloss), including new, on-trend tones such as matt light blue and matt concrete grey as well as a linen-look decor finish.
Nordic colours continue to remain popular with the trend for Scandi style living appearing in bathroom designs. Minimal design, clear shapes cool and subtle colours, overall a reduced look with a few visual highlights can make a room feel individual. The Luv bathroom collection, designed by Cecilie Manz embraces Nordic design and offers elegant console tables in soft Nordic shades including White, Taupe, Stone Grey, Light Blue and Night Blue.
HK: What are the less common pitfalls designers sometimes fall into when designing a hotel bathroom?
MC: Space is often at a premium and the smaller the space, the more ingenious your bathroom planner has to be. Look at how you can make the very best use of the space available. Duravit offers numerous products which have been developed to cater for restricted spaces, compact washbasins, WC’s and furniture solutions are imperative. Vanity units will hide unsightly pipe work and work well in small bathrooms as they provide valuable storage for guests. Wall-hung products will keep the floor area clear, creating the illusion of more space and light reflective surfaces help make a small area feel bigger
HK: How would you say technology is changing in the bathroom?
MC: New technology is playing an increasingly important role in bathroom design, helping to make the bathroom a more comfortable place. Ground breaking new materials characterised by consistent sustainability in terms of materials, processing and design are increasingly available for the bathroom.
Duravit has recently developed a new innovative method, called “c-bonded technology”. In the new “c-bonded” version, the furniture washbasin is connected almost seamlessly to the L-Cube vanity unit in a complex process. Thanks to the accurate and precise-fitting connecting technology, ceramic and furniture merge to form a single unit. However, the “c-bonded” solution does not just look and feel impressive: DuraCeram®, the patented special ceramic that actually makes this precision and moulding possible, is particularly wear-resistant.
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