June 16, 2024

Tom Dixon’s bathroom designs for VitrA named Best Fluid Forms

Tom Dixon’s ‘Liquid’ bathroom collection for Turkish brand VitrA wins Wallpaper* Design Award 2022

Tom Dixon was inspired by the Victorian era for his first foray into bathroom design, with his collection for Turkish specialist VitrA nodding to 19th-century aesthetics. He explains: ‘I like the feeling of permanence in Victorian bathrooms, with their big chunky taps and fat pipes. The aesthetic is closely connected to a whole tradition of British engineering, and influenced the development of the bathroom.’

‘Liquid’ collection by Tom Dixon for VitrA

Double washbasin pedestal, from £450; built-in mixers, from £408; illuminated mirror with ceramic frame, £850; textured tiles, from £53 per sq m

The resulting collection, ‘Liquid’, takes the British designer’s distinctive bold approach to a new functional level. Comprising bathroom essentials such as sinks, showerheads, taps, WCs, mirrors and hooks, as well as furniture including stools and cabinets and a series of textured tiles, the collection follows VitrA’s tradition of creative collaborations, while expanding the brand’s reach beyond just bathroom products.

The collection is defined by soft-edged, rounded forms that nod to the work of Jeff Koons, Claes Oldenburg and Barbara Hepworth, merging soft geometries and bold, shiny silhouettes. Dixon has injected even the most mundane of domestic objects (think toilet roll holders and urinals) with a strong design identity and bold aesthetic humour. Each piece was individually conceived, with the whole range working together in a space or individually as standalone pieces.

Urinal with touch-free flushing mechanism, £797

The designer worked with VitrA’s Innovation Centre to push the manufacturing and creative boundaries of bathroom design. Like Dixon’s other 2021 collections, which involved mono-material explorations in brass, cork and glass, this one emphasises materiality, this time in the form of ceramics. When discussing ‘Liquid’, he references his fascination with ‘the way a bit of grey and greasy earth can transform into something so white, clean and shiny’.

Dixon describes ‘Liquid’ as ‘expressive minimalism’, a bathroom collection like no other. Its aesthetic also informs functionality through, for example, the safety of round edges or the ease of cleaning surfaces. Throughout the range, he included small design devices that demonstrate how ‘Liquid’ is more than an aesthetic exercise, such as the magnet attaching the hand-held showerhead to the controls. He says, ‘I wanted the collection to look like a kid’s sketch of a bathroom basin or a tap, displaying a clear logic and simplicity in looks and usage.’ §

Washbasin unit with fluted glass doors, from £1,750; basin mixer, from £400

Washbasin, from £286