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Duravit. Reinterpreting opulence for the bathroom

Architect Sergei Tchoban creates his first designs for Duravit.

Duravit. Reinterpreting opulence for the bathroom


September 20th, 2011

For the ISH leading international trade fair in 2011, Duravit focused on opulence, a very special new approach. The bathroom manufacturer did not adopt the frequent interpretation of opulent as being ostentatious and excessive, rather it looked for a more modern approach that is also compatible with the need for durable bathrooms. In collaboration with the German-Russian architect, Sergei Tchoban, the resulting complete bathroom range reinterprets opulence as the golden ratio between purism and so-called free forms and in the internalisation of both modern architectural trends. This modern form of opulence is no longer “lavish” or “excessive” but “generous” and “pleasurable”. Luxury is important but it is no longer expressed by means of clichéd gold taps, rather by a new, freer use of forms, surfaces and space. Or, as Sergei Tchoban once said, “Contemporary opulence is about allowing that little bit more yet keeping one’s feet firmly on the ground!”

Historical associations

The designer’s new series consists of ceramic, furniture and a complete range of bathtubs and, not without reason, is named “Esplanade” after the grand streets in France. The series features generous dimensions and soft forms.

The “feet” of the vanity unit are eye-catching. The designer harks back to the 18th and 19th centuries when bathroom furnishings and even toilets were still regarded as furniture. The characteristic pedestal is also featured in other elements from the range and is particularly striking on the floor-mounted toilet, which is reminiscent of an antique chair. The historical association is further endorsed by the use of the same material for the body of the toilet and bidet as for the furniture, all of which are panelled accordingly. The bathtub is designed to resemble a chaise longue and so adds the finishing touch to the range.

Dark leather loops and high-quality white

However, these are not the only features that are reminiscent of the splendour of times gone by. The bathroom furniture has distinctive handles: dark brown loops made of genuine, hand-sewn leather in high-quality chrome surrounds. The high quality of the product is apparent at first glance: the items of furniture look like splendid ornaments. This elegance is particularly evident with the tall cabinet. The door has echoes of a classical case and thus becomes the symbol of the target group at which this modern interpretation of opulence is aimed. These are cosmopolitan people who like to decorate their homes with things they have bought on their travels. However, these people also need individuality, which is why there are two very different colours to choose from: “Oak”, a striking dark wood panelling, and “Silk”, a particularly high-quality white varnish that harmonises with the ceramics to perfection.

Thanks to its welcoming character, the range expresses Tchoban’s idea that the bathroom has become a recreation room and an important element in the layout of the house as a whole that demands space in its own right. He has often experienced this in his work as architect. “Today, if I make the bathroom too small, my client doesn’t want to know…” says the designer, speaking from experience. So the bathroom is on its way to becoming a high-quality living area that rivals the generous dimensions of the living room in every respect.


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