Bathroom fittings are primarily functional, but let’s face it, they’re a lot more pleasing to have around if they can also be beautiful. Admittedly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you have to be looking. Frankly, we are often jaded when faced with such everyday, necessary elements as toilets, sinks and bidets. Who even notices them? Well the ‘Next’ toilet vase and bidet is elegant and pared down, but it’s built to be noticed.
The designer of the ‘Next’ bathroom suite is Mario Alessiani; he set up his design studio in Italy in 2013. This is his mission statement: “Beauty is Form. Form is Function. Design is Functional Beauty.”
“His design is focused on ‘functionally beautiful’ shapes depending on materiality, process and function. The concept of ‘Next’ comes from the need to convey a unique technical innovation through design which celebrates the aesthetic nature of ceramic.”
It’s all about the curves, enhanced by the integrity and supple, tactile nature of ceramic.
Alessiani’s aim with ‘Next,’ which he created for designer bathroom store Hatria
was “an aesthetic celebration of ceramic expressed in a meeting of surprising curves.” In other words, the 21st century’s new-found love affair with pure, white bathroom fittings has been combined with a streamlined aesthetic that reduces the new loo to its most basic form.
Or, as the Hatria website states:
“The fairing is complete and hides everything in its interior. The Siphon disappears and becomes invisible.”
It’s streamlined, rimless, easy to clean and pleasing to the eye.
It may be white, but it’s definitely not boring.
Once upon a time (think the 1970s), if you wanted to ‘bling’ up your bathroom, it was all about color. Revolting, puce-like colors in fact. Avocado? Sage green? Hmm, nice. This was a reaction to the ‘old-fashioned’ nature of bathroom fittings.
Usually made from steel or cast iron enameled in white, the bathtub was blatantly utilitarian, as was the toilet. This was in order that the bathroom looked pristine, hygienic – clean. And so it was not an assault on the senses. However it was, in a word, boring. The loo in particular was same old, same old – a pan on a pedestal. So, Alessini’s simple and pleasing design has simply done away with the pedestal.
Here’s how it works: the ‘pedestal’ bit that holds up the pan (and whoever is on it!) and that drains away its contents has been squashed up, entering the wall behind it.
To quote from the Hatria website:
“A new more compact discharge system makes the sanitaryware more streamlined and allows hiding the discharge. The brand-new shape alludes to the fact that something has changed compared to the past. MAXIMUM AESTHETIC PURITY COMPLETE INNOVATION in one product.”
The fact there’s nothing beneath the toilet pan and the bidet makes the bathroom look more spacious. The sanitary fittings seem to float, suspended. Everything feels lighter, less solid and weighed down. Basically, more modern. And in bathrooms, modernity, simplicity of line and ease of cleaning is the key to great design.