Bathroom Design Week

Duravit's new Sebastian Herkner-designed Zencha series takes inspiration from Japanese tea traditions, not only in formal aesthetic terms but also the purity and harmony of its rituals.

Zencha's cupboard fronts in black oak lend warmth, while the dark ceramics bring an elegant and timeless feel to the bathroom space

Tea ceremony: Duravit x Sebastian Herkner | News

Zencha's cupboard fronts in black oak lend warmth, while the dark ceramics bring an elegant and timeless feel to the bathroom space

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Anyone who has ever witnessed a Japanese tea ceremony knows how soothing and pleasant the ritual is. Although there are different tea traditions, the four key principles always remain the same: harmony, respect, purity and silence. The structured process, the idea of inner and outer cleansing, and the clear design of the handmade bowls, jugs and spoons inspired Sebastian Herkner's creation of the Zencha bathroom series for Duravit.

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The bulbous bathtubs and basins of the Zencha series precisely reflect the graceful design of a classic Japanese tea bowl

Tea ceremony: Duravit x Sebastian Herkner | News

The bulbous bathtubs and basins of the Zencha series precisely reflect the graceful design of a classic Japanese tea bowl

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Featured products

Fine silhouettes and powerful effects

‘In recent years, I have made many trips to Asia and there the tea ceremony is crucial to the culture,’ says the designer, who is particularly enthusiastic about the tea bowl ‘with its very organic shape’. Together with his team, Herkner worked for weeks on translating the silhouette with its softly-outward-curving rim into the design of the bathroom ceramics.

This graceful rim, which now characterises the washbasin and bathtub, is the most striking feature of the series. But Herkner has also incorporated the restrained clarity of classic Japanese designs into Zencha. Thus, the beautifully shaped ceramics are also complemented by very purist, straight-lined bathroom furniture.

Zencha represents the first collaboration between Duravit and the collection's celebrated German designer, Sebastian Herkner

Tea ceremony: Duravit x Sebastian Herkner | News

Zencha represents the first collaboration between Duravit and the collection's celebrated German designer, Sebastian Herkner

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Natural materials bring harmony

Wood, ceramics and structured glass are all used in the Zencha collection, with the latter creating exciting reflections in its interactions with light. ‘It is important to me to use real materials,’ emphasises Herkner, who sees the authenticity of these materials as standing for ‘the harmony of the creation of this bathroom,’ as he puts it. And no less important in the realisation of his designs are the honed skills of the craftspeople who build them.

Everyone can interpret Zencha for themselves,’ he concludes, ‘but the design always offers the perfect modules for implementing timeless concepts.’ In this way, architects and planners can effortlessly design bathrooms in which one can slow down everyday life and find peace in the evening – tea optional.

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