Axor WaterDream 2016: Alternative Materials and Forms as Individualizing Agents for Taps


Photo: Uli Maier for Axor / Hansgrohe SE  

Back ground: Axor / Hansgrohe SE  

    The technological capabilities of the Axor U-Base are the basis for a new dimension of individualisation: washbasin spouts created from alternative materials with absolute freedom of form for seamless integration in the interior design or for creating a personal statement.  

    Ritual by ... 

    © Uli Maier for Axor / Hansgrohe SE  

    ... David Adjaye 

    Photo: Ed Reeve 

    The Sea and the Shore by ... 

    © Uli Maier for Axor / Hansgrohe SE  

    ... Werner Aisslinger. 

    Foto: Jens Gyarmaty 

    Water Steps by... 

    © Uli Maier for Axor / Hansgrohe SE  

    ... FRONT. 

    Photo: Lena Modigh 

    Zen by ... 

    © Uli Maier for Axor / Hansgrohe SE  

    ... GamFratesi. 

    Photo: GamFratesi 

    Mimicry by... 

    © Uli Maier for Axor / Hansgrohe SE  

    ... Jean-Marie Massaud. 

    Photo: Pierre Monetta 

    Within this creative brief, Axor invited renowned design partners to present their visions for the meaning of water within the living spaces of tomorrow. Together with Axor, David Adjaye, Werner Aisslinger, Front, GamFratesi and Jean-Marie Massaud designed unique spouts. Through their materiality, form and function, they are about to give a new emotionality and value to the tap itself and the water passing through it. 


    „With the Axor WaterDream 2016 we discussed the meaning and value of water in our living space with some of the world’s best architects and designers, while testing the limits of individualization“, Philippe Grohe, Vice President of Design Management at Hansgrohe SE, summarises. 


    The U-Base is a universal fixture base that allows a simple and seamless connection to its counterpart – the spout: from standardized, like Starck V, to bespoke, exchanging or upgrading spouts is possible without sanitary installation. Serving as the starting point for this years’ WaterDream design partners, it “supported the expansion of our creative horizons beyond purely industrial toward more individualized manufacturing“, Jean-Marie Massaud, long-time Axor design partner, explains. And Philippe Grohe goes on to comment: „This dedication to our vision is a testament to our belief in the combination of industrially perfected technology and individually crafted pieces to achieve an evolved creative liberty in the interior design of tomorrow“. 


    Five Spouts – One Approach 

    Despite their very different views on the meaning of water within the interior space, each architect and designer experimented with alternative materials and forms to celebrate water and its path on a functional, and on an emotional level. 


    In British architect David Adjaye’s concept Ritual, water appears from under a granite inlay that is cradled by a wedge-shaped, precious metal (bronze) spout. The water, always in view, is ritualized: from source, to flow, and finally, to descent. 


    German designer Werner Aisslinger’s conceptual spout, The Sea and the Shore, is a hybrid consisting of a fountain and a shelf – a space for rituality and functionality. Crafted from the ancient and historical material clay, it emphasizes the longevity and the value of water and water-releasing objects in our societies. 


    Water flows from platform to platform in Water Steps, a sculptural metal spout by the Swedish duo FRONT. Focusing on the playful exchange between form and water, it aesthetically and acoustically underlines the emotional potential of the natural element as it flows over PVD-finished, metallic surfaces. 


    Zen, designed by the Danish-Italian duo GamFratesi, reinterprets the classic Japanese wood fountain. With its minimalistic form and water flow, it achieves a tranquil and meditative spirit, which depicts the honest connection between nature and water. 


    Jean-Marie Massaud’s Mimicry suggests a water-releasing object in complete harmony with the architectural landscape. Material (marble) and form (simple, geometric shapes) suggest an inherent connection to water. 


    Whether it is by integration or by making an obvious statement, all five crafted spouts support the evolving desire for individuality and emotionality in living spaces where water interacts with us. 


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