For the introduction of Vaia, its new series of fittings, the German premium manufacturer DORNBRACHT has joined forces with Rafael de Cárdenas and Neri & Hu to realise two extremely inspired and inspiring bathroom design environments.

Bathing as an emotional journey: Neri & Hu play with the a diversity of materials and with the openness between interior and exterior space. Water is used here as an additional material

In Flux: Dornbracht | News

Bathing as an emotional journey: Neri & Hu play with the a diversity of materials and with the openness between interior and exterior space. Water is used here as an additional material

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Dornbracht’s recent collaboration with the renowned architects Rafael de Cárdenas and Neri & Hu shows just how harmoniously one thing can flow into another, especially from the large scale to the detail. The independent, New York-based de Cárdenas and Neri & Hu of Shanghai were invited to contemplate architecture, the bathroom and the direct relationship between the two.

Catchword: Transitional Style

Taking as its starting point the new fittings series Vaia, conceived by Sieger Design in the spirit of the Transitional Style, the project set out to interpret and further this interior design trend. The premise: “Create a new balance – between traditional elegance and contemporary cool.” The ideas and inspiration provided by the two offices formed the basis of the actual bathroom designs developed by Mike Meiré, Creative Director of Dornbracht, and his agency Meiré und Meiré. Two inspiring new bathroom environments arose from numerous sketches, material collages and mood boards that were holistically devoted to the theme of the balance between the time-proven and the new.

Rafael de Cárdenas’s cupola brings light into the space, creating a dramatic combined effect of material, architecture and, above all, the washstand crowned with the Vaia fittings

In Flux: Dornbracht | News

Rafael de Cárdenas’s cupola brings light into the space, creating a dramatic combined effect of material, architecture and, above all, the washstand crowned with the Vaia fittings

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Into a single form

Fusion, transition, confluence: these three terms fundamentally characterise the bathroom as a space and probably best describe it in its architectural context. A kind of interface between vitalisation and relaxation, between “beginning the day” and “finishing” it: here, all the strands of the life cycle converge – a challenge for any architect, especially when it comes to finding good answers to current trends like the mix of traditional elegance and contemporary coolness.

Corners in the round: Surrounded by a captivating collage of materials and placed in round niches, Vaia Dark Platinum Matt presents itself atop a washstand that is monolithic in character

In Flux: Dornbracht | News

Corners in the round: Surrounded by a captivating collage of materials and placed in round niches, Vaia Dark Platinum Matt presents itself atop a washstand that is monolithic in character

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The curve as a basic figure

Rafael de Cárdenas creates a very individual and unusual spatial form from elegant S-curves, which flow upwards from the floor plan into impressive arched doorways and niches recalling sacred buildings. A transparent cupola allows the entry of natural light, literally opening up the architecture to the recurring rhythm of day and night. Mike Meiré’s bathroom architecture echoes central elements of the design by de Cárdenas from which it is derived. A monolithic washstand contrasts with the sensuous curves of the architecture. The brick structures, in turn, provide a captivating background for the Vaia fittings in Dark Platinum Matt.

From the inner self to the world outside: The atrium is at the centre of the architectural concept by Neri & Hu, in which all spaces and actions, as well as the materials concrete, stone and metal, flow together

In Flux: Dornbracht | News

From the inner self to the world outside: The atrium is at the centre of the architectural concept by Neri & Hu, in which all spaces and actions, as well as the materials concrete, stone and metal, flow together

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Space of encounter

Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu interpret the washstand as a place of communication. “We imagined a fictitious place, a house in which two characters dwell – one introverted and the other extroverted. Life’s everyday rituals are celebrated and elevated to the status of a ceremony.” Space in flow. The transitory nature of the bathroom is accented with marble, bronze, concrete, gold and wood – materials which, for all their contrasts, encounter one another in harmony, like Vaia in its wall-mounted and free-standing versions, in which the pedestal structure quotes the cross form of the fittings.

Dialogue in a place of encounter: Vaia fittings in Platinum Matt, in wall-mounted and free-standing versions, enter into a sensuous spatial liaison with marble, concrete, bronze, wood and gold

In Flux: Dornbracht | News

Dialogue in a place of encounter: Vaia fittings in Platinum Matt, in wall-mounted and free-standing versions, enter into a sensuous spatial liaison with marble, concrete, bronze, wood and gold

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Between worlds

The new Vaia fittings series brings apparent opposites into a new balance: at once geometrical and soft in its forms, it picks up the currents of a lively contemporary culture with classically styled faucets. The openness that it offers to planners proves the perfect design tool with which to play on any scenario – from fashionable to traditional, from modern to classic.

The architectural duo Neri & Hu (left) and the New York architect Rafael de Cárdenas (right) were invited by Dornbracht to take part in this unique spatial experiment

In Flux: Dornbracht | News

The architectural duo Neri & Hu (left) and the New York architect Rafael de Cárdenas (right) were invited by Dornbracht to take part in this unique spatial experiment

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Providing a spark

However, the innovative fittings solution not only demonstrates a successful fusion of different styles, but is intended to provide interdisciplinary inspiration to other creative minds in making their own view of things known. To this end, Dornbracht has initiated a cross-platform discourse that can be accessed via all social media portals. This ambitious social media appeal is intended to newly stimulate, inspire and enable a creative exchange between designers, planners and end consumers. Under the hashtag #createanewbalance, individuals can further develop the Transitional Style in a very personal way. Anyone who is interested can see for him- or herself the successful collaboration with Rafael de Cárdenas and Neri & Hu on all of Dornbracht’s social media channels.

© Architonic

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