Best Of The Best 2006: Duravit's Ciottolo Basins And Sundeck Tub
A Ciottolo ceramic basin can elevate hand washing from mundane to sensual, although its design is based on earthly items. The line, which Sieger Design’s Michael Sieger created for Duravit, takes its name from the Italian word for “pebble.” It includes three different basin shapes—circular, oval, and teardrop—that are meant to evoke the outlines of riverbed stones worn smooth by years of water rushing over them. The sinks are white, except for the circular version, which also is available in a platinum finish.
The Ciottolo sinks represent the passage of time in an even more ethereal way. In 1987, Michael Sieger’s father, Dieter, designed the Giamo collection for Duravit, which established the German company as a leader in the then-nascent field of designer bathroom fixtures. Back then, Duravit’s goals for Giamo were modest. “We managed to stand out from our competitors by establishing a unique position with good design, which is of course how we hoped it would be,” recalls Franz Kook, CEO of Duravit AG. The success with Sieger Design convinced the company to continue to court designers, and in the 19 years since introducing Giamo, Duravit has released 39 additional product lines from Michael Graves, Philippe Starck, and Norman Foster, among many others.
One of Kook’s lesser-known favorites is a Viennese trio of designers—Martin Bergman, Gernot Bohmann, and Harald Gründl—who collaborate under the name Eoos. “They have a very playful approach and are not afraid to reinvent the way things are done,” Kook says. An example of their proclivity for reinvention is the new Sundeck tub, a so-called “multifunctional spa bath” that can be installed inside or outside a home. The acrylic tub, which measures 73 inches long by 34 inches wide and 18 inches deep, can be converted to a lounging platform with cushions and headrests that cover the depression in the bath. Sundeck tubs that will face the elements can be ordered with weatherproof wooden side paneling; those that are destined for indoor use can be veneered with macassar, American walnut, or other woods.