Christian Werner is
regarded as one of Germany’s best designers and his designs have already won
multiple design prizes such as the Red Dot Award and German Design Gold Award. After
studying industrial design in Berlin and Hamburg, he worked as an employed
designer from 1987 to 1992. Since 1992 he has been self-employed with his own
design office. Since then, his clients have included brands such as Rolf Benz,
Ligne Roset, Garpa, and Tobias Grau. He has also completed interior-design
projects for JAB Anstoetz, Concept Carpet, and ClubMed.
Christian Werner is a
designer who has deeply internalized the topic of the bathroom and sanitation
and has been working with Duravit on innovative solutions for the bathroom for
decades. Starting with the Ketho bathroom furniture series in 2010, Christian
Werner was the first furniture designer to work with Duravit. After many
successful projects designing bathroom furniture, Vitrium is the first time
that he has incorporated the washbasin into his design, creating interaction
with the console vanity units and washbasin vanity units. In the interview
Christian Werner talks about his new bathroom collection.
- Mr. Werner, what was your guiding design concept while developing the Vitrium bathroom collection?
With Vitrium I wanted to design a bathroom series that helps us indulge in the rituals and mindfulness that we associate with the bathroom. The (subtly backlit) glass fronts act as a stage for the objects within – just like a display cabinet. We designed the series with delicate frames that enclose the furniture fronts to create a special sense of quality. The washbasins, which were specially designed for the series, underline the consistent contemporary-yet-timeless design language – whether as round above-counter basins or as integrated c-bonded basins. The round above-counter basins on the straight-lined furniture create a calm yet also dissonant symbiosis – a harmonious geometric effect that helps us indulge in our rituals in the bathroom.
- When you look at the range in its entirety, what is the stand-out feature of Vitrium for you personally and how would you describe the style of your series?
For me that would be the fronts that let you see inside of the cabinets and inspire a state of contemplation and mindfulness in the bathroom. And second, it’s the robust design, which is especially important in the bathroom. That’s why I deliberately steered clear of short-lived and trendy forms to create a high-quality bathroom series with an aesthetic that will stand the test of time.
- In your opinion, what sets the series apart from other bathroom series?
The attractive, delicate frame creates a unique accent – especially in combination with the glass infill panels. Vitrium’s extraordinary impact results from the composition of the shapes and materials - a harmonious whole with its own aesthetic. The materials – glass, metal, wood, and the mineral material DuroCast UltraResist – merge to create a picture rich in urban and architectural associations.
- What space for added value is there in the bathroom collection and what opportunities are there for bathroom design?
Various things can be selected individually: round or rectangular washbasin, furniture with the more classical wood-look fronts or a tinted glass front, so that attractive accessories can be put on display. The vanity units are like small (optionally even back-lit) showcases for attractive bathroom utensils, cosmetics, collectibles, etc. – a totally new approach.
The round, overhanging above-counter basins offer many practical benefits in terms of the use of space, especially in small bathrooms. The vanity unit can be supplied in a significantly narrower design but still with a sufficiently large washbasin. Additionally, this creates a nice rhythm as the overhang emphasizes the interplay of the round and rectangular shapes. It’s not only practical, it also looks really cool.
- How did you come up with the idea of the “overlapping” round above-counter basin?
As a designer I observe my surroundings very closely. You need to be able to question things that seem self-evident. For example, I noticed that the usual rectangular washbasins literally “stick out” quite a bit, especially in smaller bathrooms. However, the solution only really emerged at the drawing stage. What looked really attractive at first from a graphical perspective, the overlap of the circle (the washbasin) with a rectangle (the console), immediately turned out to be extraordinarily beneficial in actual use. You can give the round washbasin a wider diameter and the vanity unit or console below can be made narrower, so it can fit unobtrusively even in small bathrooms. The plinth on which the round washbasin sits almost gives the impression of it floating above the furniture.