Axor represents the diversity and fascination of individual lifestyles in the bathroom. Comprehensive bathroom collections are created in collaboration with some of the world’s most successful designers. These collections are as individual and as diverse as people themselves, and offer a multitude of different styles: from lively, charming bathrooms/living spaces to nature-inspired havens of tranquillity.
Hansgrohe is a company with a long-standing tradition of
technical innovation. When did design become and integral
part of this?
Axor was established in 1993, but even before that time Hansgrohe had
already produced technically impressive products including Showers and
mixers. Of course, these also looked good. In other words, design has
always been a key area at Hansgrohe. By exchanging ideas with other
designers we wanted to complement our ideas on the bathroom of the future
with visions, lifestyles and trends that go beyond the product. That gives life
and emotions to the room. This is something that we cannot do alone. And
it is something that cannot be achieved by just one designer. We therefore
trust in several creative designers.
You have already worked in conjunction with many of the
world’s most prestigious designers. Do you appoint a new
designer for each collection?
We now partner with a number of international designers and architects with
whom we hold regular open discussions. Some have already developed
two or three collections with us.
How much freedom do you give the designers?
We put our full trust in our designers’ visions and powers of innovation. When
we first spoke to one of the most famous designers of our time, we truly
experienced the big bang. The first complete bathroom with mixers, showers,
wash basins, bath tub and WC was created from a single source. Philippe
Starck’s bathroom. It was a revolution.
Since then, has it been about more than just mixers?
It certainly has, it’s about the entire room, an atmosphere and above all,
a new way of looking at life and how we use water in the bathroom. For
this reason, we choose our design partners very carefully, as they have to
consider every aspect of how the space will feel and how it is going to
be used, not simply how it looks. They ensure that the space works as a
cohesive whole, coordinated and complete. In addition to the mixers and
showers, we also work with them to develop the wash basins, bath tubs,
accessories and of course, general bathroom solutions.
You look for designers with different, sometimes even
highly conflicting, styles and attitudes. What do you regard
as fruitful cooperation with creative minds?
For Axor, the designer’s vision is at the fore. Designers should develop their
own personal bathroom. We do not regard them as suppliers, but as creative
partners with whom we can exchange ideas as equals. During this process,
each of the partners offers their own expertise. From our perspective, this
is our water and industrial bathroom expertise as well as a certain design
To what extent have the requirements for bathrooms
changed over time?
The bathroom is changing from a place of hygiene to a place for living. This
is partly attributable to our lifestyle habits. In the past, we had extremely
close ties to nature. Now, our lives are dominated by an urban world and
hectic everyday situations. We therefore have a growing need for a sense of
tranquillity and a natural experience. More and more people are discovering
the bathroom as a place for relaxation and wellbeing. It is not without a
little pride that we believe we have made an important contribution to this.
Antonio Citterio once said that we only have to stand under the shower for
30 seconds to get clean. So why do we shower for three or five minutes?
Because it changes how we feel afterwards. Showering is like doing an
hour of yoga. However, wellbeing also means using a great deal of water,
which naturally poses a major technical challenge for us. After all, one thing
is clear: we have to conserve the precious commodity of water.
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