PuraVida – the new poetry of lightness in the bathroom
Consisting of twelve ceramic models, thirteen pieces of furniture and seven bathtubs, the new PuraVida collection from Duravit heralds a new emotional approach to bathroom product design. Pure geometry is modified to become freer and introduce products that successfully evoke soft, flowing, timeless elegance.
Created by the studio of Phoenix Design, PuraVida is already recipient of the reddot design award for 2009 and is a complete bathroom collection that has emerged from a joint collaboration between Duravit and fixture manufacturer Hansgrohe, thereby offering the consumer tap fittings, ceramic, bathtubs and furniture all interwoven to create unique and evolved continuity.
Emotional strength instead of “whims of style”
Stylistically, Phoenix Design was interested in modifying pure geometry to create a sense of gentle movement. “I have a feeling that, in the future, there will be a need for a new form, for new emotion. Everything will become more joyful and more lively,” said Tom Schönherr of Phoenix Design. Thus, in designing PuraVida, Schönherr and his team focused on emotional strength and extended the design possibilities in the bathroom to include a new, freer and more feminine aspect. According to Schönherr, “freer emotional forms always run the risk of drifting into short-lived fashion trends.” He aims to banish this type of “whims of style” from the bathroom, as this is a space meant to be designed for long-term enjoyment. For this reason, Phoenix Design sought to create a design that would appeal to the new need for emotion while simultaneously providing a sense of sleek timelessness. The design process thus became a search for a natural form – one that was both soft and pure.
Millimetric wave motion
The harmony between these properties is expressed in a very special connection between the various elements being combined. Together, Ceramic and tap fittings create a symbiosis, “as if they had grown naturally like a tree from the earth,” said Schönherr. Accordingly, the designer implemented colour in the design of his tap fittings to highlight this notion of “growth”: where they join with the washbasin, the fitting is as pure and white as the ceramic itself.
The PuraVida washbasin is soft on the outside with a gently moulded interior to create a sense of spaciousness and elegance. On the inside, it is very flat and bevels inward with a gentle wave. The movement of this wave is “millimetric.” All lines are exceptionally soft and give the range a sense of effortless motion – the products are ethereal-like and seem to float.
The wallmounted furniture highlights this floating effect: consoles, vanity units and tall cabinets are gently rounded in all three dimensions and feature a glossy white finish. The emotional movement occurs on the furniture surface, which is available in a choice of deep red or shiny black paired with high-gloss white, ebony or aluminium. Curved handle grooves in place of physical handles enhance the weightless character of the range. The open grooves reveal their hidden depths and allow the tone of the chosen surface finish to boldly peek through. In terms of function, the handle grooves are designed in such a way that it is possible to open both the upper and the lower element from the groove.
Inside the furniture, sophisticated details provide a helping hand with everyday life. As an option, the vanity unit features elegant glass dividers, while the tall cabinet includes a practical, integrated drawer for storage. A matching mobile storage unit completes the range.
The mirror echoes the floating character of the furniture. Its back wall is not just rounded at the corners, but also tapers so that only one centimetre of the edge is visible from any angle. Similarly, the mirrored cabinet is three-dimensional in form. The double-sided mirrors on its doors and its decorative back wall merge to create a sense of space. The light and socket are cleverly concealed in an aluminium panel located on top of the cabinet. On the outside, a flush-mounted light, which is easy to clean, ensures optimum illumination.
A modern take on luxury
In the PuraVida collection, light serves as a crucial design element for the built-in bathub.
This tub features a rim that opens to create a joint through which a white LED light gently shimmers. Alternatively, depending on the choice in furniture colour, a deep red, refined black, ebony or aluminium peeks through the skilfully crafted space.
With the freestanding bathtub, the accent is entirely on form. Here, as with the ceramic, the secret lies in the subtle movement of the lines, which are not simply curved or amorphous, but instead make use of “every last millimetre.” Said Schönherr, “Everything about this range is completely subtle, nothing is excessive, nothing is pretentious.” This sensitivity is also an expression of Phoenix Design’s notion of contemporary luxury, something that, according to them, “is not pretentiously classic but much softer, often merely suggested.” Together, these twelve ceramic models, thirteen pieces of furniture and seven bathtubs successfully evoke just that: soft, flowing, timeless elegance.