VitrA Introduces Liquid, in Collaboration with Tom Dixon
The range is the latest addition to VitrA’s portfolio of designer collaborations, part of a long-standing programme of working with world-renowned designers to create distinctive, modern bathroom collections to complement any washroom space.
Tom was impressed by VitrA’s extensive experience and highly specialised in-house design team, spending time at the sophisticated manufacturing plant and Innovation Centre at the core of the company’s operation. The collaboration with VitrA has allowed Tom to explore new design opportunities while gaining an appreciation of the complexities of manufacturing products for the bathroom.
It was important to Tom, from the outset, that he created a fully comprehensive range that would encompass all elements of the bathroom – sanitaryware, furniture, taps, tiles, shower systems, and accessories – designed to work together or as stand-alone pieces.
VitrA and Tom Dixon share a similar vision for creating innovative and original designs that retain their appeal over the years. For Liquid, part of Tom’s inspiration was Victorian bathrooms. “I like the feeling of permanence in Victorian bathrooms, with their big chunky taps and fat tubes,” Tom notes. “It’s an aesthetic that’s closely connected to a whole tradition of British engineering and influenced the development of the bathroom.” The fact that clay is readily available and extremely durable resonated with Tom, particularly from a sustainability perspective. He found it fascinating “the way a bit of grey and greasy earth can transform into something so white, clean and shiny.” Like much of Tom’s recent work, the new collection is aligned with his increasing use of round-edged aesthetics. The designs have been inspired by elements of pop art, such as Jeff Koons and his Balloon Dog and the work of Claes Oldenburg, as well as the sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s geometry of soft forms and use of rounded marble.
Tom and VitrA’s shared vision was to create a complete bathroom solution that is for everyone: “contemporary without being of the moment,” states Tom, while being sufficiently different from other collections on the market. Over months of close collaboration, VitrA and Tom Dixon explored lots of new ideas. “I think design should always increase the potentials,” says VitrA’s Design Director, Erdem Akan. “If you get the core pieces right, you can create combinations and potentials – creating more with less.” The final result is Liquid, a range that is wholly new and yet somehow familiar.
Recognising the current obsession with skinny and reduced designs, Tom has created the opposite, incorporating fatter, softer lines that are inherently more generous, strong, and long-lasting. The smooth, rounded edges are easy to clean, alongside taps with simple controls, while soft edges ensure a safe bathroom environment.
While the overall design is stripped back and reduced, a style Tom refers to as ‘expressive minimalism’, the functionality is intuitive so that users can instinctively understand how to operate the products. “I wanted the collection to look like a kid’s sketch of a bathroom basin or a tap,” says Tom, “displaying a clear logic and simplicity in looks and usage.”
Consciously choosing to offer only white ceramics, the range combines different materials including fluted glass and metal mesh. Taps and showers are available in chrome or for contrast, a new gloss black finish that is atypical in modern bathrooms. The range also includes distinctive wall tiles, available in five designs and with colour options of white, black, grey, sage green and ecru. The tile designs reflect ripples in the water and patterns inspired by the classic U-bend, featuring embossed dots and waves that can be creatively configured. Each of the products can be combined to create different styles and purposes, such as private and public usage, offering customers the opportunity to personalise the bathroom space by choosing from a wide range of products that includes a urinal, bidet and touch-free tap. This flexibility means that customers can use the collection in a wide variety of locations from domestic settings in the home to more professional environments such as offices, restaurants and hotels.
“We are delighted to introduce Tom Dixon’s innovative and contemporary collection as part of our ongoing collaboration with world-renowned designers. Our extensive manufacturing, design and innovation capabilities have ensured that there is a unity to the breadth of Liquid, the VitrA x Tom Dixon collection. At a time when there is a greater emphasis placed on the bathroom space, this cohesive collection has a generosity of design that will sit comfortably in both domestic and professional environments.”– Levent Giray, Managing Director of VitrA UK, comments
Tom Dixon joins designers including Ross Lovegrove, Sebastian Conran, Arik Levy, Terri Pecora and Claudio Bellini, each of whom has collaborated closely with VitrA’s in-house team to create bathrooms that reflect their own vision and aesthetic style.