For over 60 years, German fittings manufacturer DORNBRACHT has worked on transforming the bathroom from a functional room to a locus of ritual.

The fittings of German manufacturer Dornbracht exhibit the brand’s native qualities: precision, progressive design, balanced proportions, personality and performance

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

The fittings of German manufacturer Dornbracht exhibit the brand’s native qualities: precision, progressive design, balanced proportions, personality and performance

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Gone is the era of the bath as merely a room for personal hygiene. It has become a refuge from everyday stress, a precinct into which to withdraw in peace and quiet. This once mundane, ancillary room has developed into a place of regenerative leisure. It plays an ever-greater role in the home – a role that will continue to change in the future. This evolution calls for designers with the ability to give form to newly emerging concepts, and manufacturers who clearly read the signs of the times and deliver products that express them.

The current trend is towards a heightened awareness of and concern with the body – the care and optimisation of which is part of a broader new health consciousness. As a place in which to pursue this new notion of “healthness”, the bathroom is undergoing a transformation from a functional room to a locus of ritual.

Dornbracht, the international fittings manufacturer, recognised this trend more than a decade ago and integrated this knowledge in its company development. The family enterprise, based in Iserlohn, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, has been producing premium fittings for over 60 years, with an emphasis on sustainable design and forward-thinking concepts. Addressing the human being and his needs plays a decisive role in this, as does the observation of societal changes and trends. Its attention to these factors has consistently placed Dornbracht in the trailblazing vanguard of the industry.

Distinctive fittings like those of the CL.1 series lend the bath character and class

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

Distinctive fittings like those of the CL.1 series lend the bath character and class

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Looking back at the history of the company, the 1980s were ground-breaking with respect to the formation of a new design consciousness. Together with its partner, Sieger Design, Dornbracht decided at that time to create fittings that no longer made their mark exclusively through function and technology, but through captivating contemporary and sustainable design as well.

The Domani model, which sparked initial debate but quickly established itself as an international icon, set the new course – one with a strong affinity for culture and design. Out of this arose a company philosophy that, right up to the present, has guided Dornbracht in developing numerous design classics. For example, the well-known Tara series, with its minimalistic reinterpretation of the traditional cross tap handle, has advanced to classic status since its introduction in 1992.

To safeguard this timeless aesthetic, Dornbracht has developed a universal design language, one which runs through all of its products: the interplay of proportion, precision, progressiveness, personality, and performance.

CL.1: precise lines down to the smallest detail

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

CL.1: precise lines down to the smallest detail

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Proportion: Dornbracht products are perfectly proportioned. Based on architectural principles such as the golden section, their design is always balanced, harmonious, and exact. This makes for calm, clarity, and – not least – beauty. It ensures the enduring aesthetic that gives products from Dornbracht their timeless sense of style.

Precision: Dornbracht products stand for uncompromising precision. They can be recognised by their clear lines, their precise edges, angles and radii, and the consistency of their clearances – all of which demands exacting workmanship to execute. This is guaranteed by innovative production technologies and processes, as well as by an unusually high share of work done by hand. Virtually every area of production involves manual work steps: the galvanic surface finishing, grinding, polishing and assemblage, as well as the quality control that attends each work step.

SYNC unites reduced design with a form oriented to the user

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

SYNC unites reduced design with a form oriented to the user

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Progressiveness: Dornbracht products are progressive. They project a forward-looking attitude that is open to the new. Often years ahead of the prevailing fashion, they constantly sound out currents in architecture and interior design, and in so doing perpetuate a future-oriented vocabulary of form, which gives rise to bathroom design that is both modern and rich in character.

Personality: Dornbracht products are originals with personality and highly distinctive design. Fittings such as MEM, CL.1 and Supernova consistently embody a type, a particular character. Far from arbitrary, their design possesses a sharpness of definition and a striking presence that heighten the class and profile of any bathroom or kitchen.

Striking, progressive design that makes a lasting impression: SUPERNOVA plays with polygonal surfaces and reflections of light

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

Striking, progressive design that makes a lasting impression: SUPERNOVA plays with polygonal surfaces and reflections of light

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Performance: Dornbracht products stand for performance. They offer a consistent added value that expresses itself in their extraordinary aesthetic and functional impact, and in their influence on the user. They are always state of the art and often visionary. They perform in ways that make them inimitable.

Proportion, precision, progressiveness, personality and performance – these are the five characteristics that every Dornbracht product exhibits. The “5 Ps” thus make up an important constant in the visionary design process.

Jointly with Sieger Design, Dornbracht developed such models as TARA, a reinterpretation of the classic cross faucet, which has itself become an established design icon

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

Jointly with Sieger Design, Dornbracht developed such models as TARA, a reinterpretation of the classic cross faucet, which has itself become an established design icon

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This constancy is always paired with innovative ideas. Dornbracht draws from the larger cultural context as a chief source of inspiration and a seismograph for societal developments. With the “Culture Projects” that it began in 1996, the company promotes exhibitions and contemporary art projects that investigate the subject of water and hygiene or the meaning of rituals. The utopias and visions conceived in these initiatives feed into new concepts, which in turn flow into the company’s product innovations. Over the years, the original idea of exploring “Culture in the Bathroom” has evolved into a lively exchange with artists, musicians, architects and designers.

Minimalistic, unmistakeable design: with elegant reserve, MEM highlights the element of water

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

Minimalistic, unmistakeable design: with elegant reserve, MEM highlights the element of water

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A prime example of this is the idea of a ritual bath that emerged in 2003 from the series “Edges” and the installation “E-R-S Energetic Recovery System” by Mike Meiré. The project examined the theme of the purification of consciousness: the user progresses through a sequence of zones that cleanse the body and spirit, and celebrate the ritual contact with water. Dornbracht translated this concept in architectural terms and developed out of it a ritual bath divided into individual sections to which various actions are assigned.

Ongoing demographic change, advancing digitisation, and growing health awareness will continue to influence us and the design of our surroundings. Thus it remains to be seen what future transformations these developments will bring for the bathroom, and how Dornbracht will take up these trends in accordance with its progressive company history. Up to now, the manufacturer has met this challenge with stylistic assurance, professional competence, and an exploratory, pioneering spirit. In a constantly changing world, Dornbracht has distinguished itself as a reliable partner with a fine sense for societal and cultural evolution.

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Dornbracht has recently produced three booklets providing an overview of, respectively, Design Principles, Culture Projects and Innovation Leadership, which are available upon request

Dornbracht: The bathroom is taking on new life | News

Dornbracht has recently produced three booklets providing an overview of, respectively, Design Principles, Culture Projects and Innovation Leadership, which are available upon request

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