More stories

  • in

    IKEA designs “safe spaces” for children and at-risk refugees fleeing Ukraine

    Furniture company IKEA has donated its products and design services to create a series of refugee support centres in Eastern Europe, set up by the United Nations to offer aid and sanctuary to the most vulnerable groups displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The Swedish furniture brand created interiors with a homely, comforting atmosphere inside several recently established Blue Dot centres, which are run by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR to offer specialist support to children, families and other at-risk refugees.
    Top: numerous Blue Dot shelters have been established in Eastern Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. Above: IKEA designed the interiors for the sheltersSet alongside major border crossings and transit routes, the centres supply legal aid, mental health support and family reunification services, as well as food and temporary shelter.
    “The work calls for a whole new set of skills because we’re designing spaces that can support people who are experiencing trauma,” said Martyna Pater, who is an interior design specialist for IKEA in Kraków, Poland.
    “We’re using walls made of Kallax shelving units and thick curtains to create a quieter and more comfortable environment, to make it feel more like a home, and we’ve also used decorations and picture frames, to make the space feel as cosy and calm as possible.”

    6.9 million people have fled Ukraine
    Out of the 36 Blue Dot centres that UNICEF and UNHCR have established across seven European countries since the start of the Ukraine war, IKEA has helped to design 10 in Romania and five in Poland.
    Three more are currently in development and plans are in the making for IKEA to help set up of additional outposts in Hungary and Slovakia.
    The initiative forms part of a wider €1 million donation that IKEA has pledged to UNICEF and UNHCR’s emergency relief efforts for the Ukraine war, with an additional €30 million going to other selected organisations.
    The furniture company previously joined a number of brands and studios in pausing its operations in Russia, closing its stores and halting imports and exports from the country.
    The shelters are run by UN agencies UNICEF and UNHCRSince the war started in February, more than 6.9 million people have fled Ukraine – 90 per cent of which are women and children, who UNICEF says are especially at risk of abuse, exploitation and trafficking.
    Blue Dot centres, which were first established in 2016, are designed to provide “safe spaces” for these vulnerable groups, containing playrooms for children, private areas for mental health counselling and safe places to sleep.
    “By far, most of the refugees who have fled unimaginable loss and devastation in Ukraine are women, children and older people or people with disabilities, in need of dedicated support,” said Marin Din Kajdomcaj, Poland’s representative at the UN Refugee Agency.
    “Thanks to our great collaboration with IKEA, we can design comforting Blue Dot spaces where refugees at greater risk can find a moment to rest, feel safe and protected again, access reliable information, counselling and psychological support, all in an effort to have them start healing and recovering from traumatising events.”
    Shelters designed to be convenient, child-friendly and site-specific
    For IKEA’s design teams, this involved creating interiors that are easy to navigate and tailored to both adults and children alike.
    “We’re designing spaces for children that are cosy and playful, but we use low furniture so their parents can see them when they are speaking to advisors,” Pater explained.
    “With thousands of people coming to the hubs, you also have to think about crowd control and creating good signage that helps people move through the space so they can find the right support they need.”
    Since Blue Dot shelters are temporary, they occupy a wide range of settings from tents to repurposed arenas.
    As a result, IKEA’s designers developed tailored interiors schemes that respond to specific sites and scales, rather than coming up with a universal template.
    Martyna Pater is an interior design specialist for IKEA Poland”It’s all about a fast response and providing a comfortable safe space,” said Laurentiu Stefan Serban, a visual merchandiser and shop designer for IKEA in Bucharest, Romania. “The aim is to create an environment where people can recover and find their strengths again.”
    A number of architects have applied their expertise to creating temporary shelters for those displaced by the Ukraine war.
    Kyiv practice Balbek Bureau developed a concept for a modular refugee village, which was picked up by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and is now set to be constructed in the country’s Ternopil region.
    Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban focused instead on creating more privacy in existing shelters by making use of his modular Paper Partition System, which can be constructed from cardboard tubes and strips of fabric in around five minutes.
    The images are courtesy of IKEA.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Dimore Studio gives historical Milan palazzo “celestial” makeover

    Over the course of Milan design week, architecture and design studio Dimore Studio transformed its gallery into “a dreamlike space” filled with lighting, furniture and textiles shrouded in plumes of smoke.

    Dimore Studio founders Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci wanted the interiors to help visitors forget the difficult years of the coronavirus pandemic and instead evoke “hope and joy”.
    Dimore Studio has transformed its gallery space into an installationTucked away in a cobbled courtyard in the city’s Brera district, the hazy space was also informed by its name: oublié translates from French to “to forget” in English.
    Upon entering the second floor of a nineteenth-century apartment turned gallery, visitors are met with classical music playing softly.
    Visitors journey through eight rooms inside the historical buildingAs they walk through the eight interconnected rooms, smoke is blown throughout, making the interior hazy and dusty.

    “This year, the name of our exhibition Oublié is a clear message for our visitors: forget the past two years and embrace our poetic vision of hope and joy through the installation,” Moran told Dezeen.
    “Visitors will find themselves in a dreamlike space where time stands still, where rays of light are cast through half-closed shutters and a soft haze accompanies the movement.”
    Every room is kitted out with Dimore Studio furniture and soft furnishingsThe studio chose a neutral colour palette of muted beiges, browns and ivory white for the space, which the studio used for a previous installation at Milan design week 2017. Splashes of gold can be found in the lighting while the doors are painted silver.
    “The space has undergone a radical change following its transformation: the warm-toned, enveloping walls have become pure, immaculate and almost celestial,” explained Salci.

    Design eras converge in Dimore Studio’s moodily coloured Milan exhibitions

    To add to the dreamlike atmosphere, Dimore Studio played with light. Opting to avoid technical lights, the space is instead lit by lamps such as the Belle de Jour table lamp and the Abatjour lamp. Meanwhile, natural light pours through the open windows.
    “We decided to avoid the technical lights in order to have a more natural and cosy atmosphere with ambience light.”
    “We closed our shutters in order to reduce the natural summer light that in addition to the smokey atmosphere, create this oublié – forgotten environment.”
    Light pours through several shuttersOublié captures the studio’s signature aesthetic which it describes as “nostalgic” yet contemporary through an eclectic mix of the brand’s permanent collection and new pieces such as a chair and a floor lamp.
    Previously the studio has applied its distinctively opulent aesthetic to a London art gallery and a shop in Paris that features textiles in three-dimensional patterns draped across the storefront.
    The photography is by Paolo Abate.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Jennifer Morden creates “aspirational” mid-century house with sinister dungeon for Fresh

    Production designer Jennifer Morden created a mid-century house to reflect the personality of the flamboyant and misogynistic antagonist in comedy-thriller film Fresh.

    Morden and her team built two individual sets in a studio to represent the house for the film, which was directed by Mimi Cave and shot in Canada’s British Columbia.
    Fresh features a mid-century house that belongs to cannibal SteveThe sets were designed to portray the main floor and basement of a lavish mid-century house that forms a secluded lair for Steve – a seemingly-charming man who seduces women into dating him, after which he traps them in his basement and reveals that he is actually a psychopathic butcher of human meat.
    “We wanted to make as much as we could so we could customise it,” Morden told Dezeen in a video call from Canada, explaining the decision not to use a real house for the project.
    The dining room is positioned at the highest level on the main floorFresh tells the story of Steve’s relationship with Noa, who he briefly dates and subsequently lures to his house. The characters are played by actors Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones respectively.

    “The choice to go with a mid-century style house was partly because right now it’s really popular,” said Morden.
    “People love mid-century houses and they’ve had a big resurgence in modern design. It was also about Steve looking aspirational.”
    Dark wooden cabinetry was included in the kitchenOn-screen, the rooms on the house’s main floor are presented at subtly different levels from each other in what Morden called a “hierarchy of spaces”.
    A dining room is seen on the highest level, a kitchen slightly lower down, and then a living room and finally Steve’s bedroom.
    Plush furniture such as 1970s Camaleonda sofas by Mario Bellini and Eames-like armchairs decorated these spaces and were set against harsher accents including dark wooden cabinetry and built-in concrete seating.
    A curved basement informed by fallopian tubes holds women captiveThe other set representing the basement featured a concrete floating staircase dug out of rock, which leads to dungeon-like, teak-lined hallways that descend to cells with sunken beds where women are held captive.
    Steve’s operating room forms the basement’s lowest level, where he harvests the imprisoned women’s meat and body parts.
    “Wherever we see Steve in relation to his victims, he’s always at a higher level to them,” explained the production designer.
    Steve’s operating room is located at the bottom of the basementSteve’s house intends to reflect his complex and powerful persona, which quickly transforms from outwardly normal to sinister as the drama unfolds, according to Morden.
    “I was like, okay, everything we do needs to involve body parts, in some capacity. Every piece of artwork, every piece of furniture and the way the hallways are designed.”
    Imagery of body parts is repeated throughout the filmTo illustrate this idea, the production designer and her team placed a Michel Ducaroy “body chair” in Steve’s bedroom and created faux herringbone flooring from pieces of painted, hand-laid plywood, which Morden said she “really wanted to feel like ribs”.
    The curved, cave-like basement was informed by fallopian tubes and designed to be a grand auditorium for Steve – a “crazy” idea that Morden pitched in her interview for the project.
    An abstract painting conceals items belonging to Steve’s victimsAn abstract painting was placed on the living room wall, which actually included hair, teeth and nails on closer inspection. In an early scene, upon arriving at the house before she is drugged and trapped, Noa studies the artwork.
    It is later revealed that Steve hides personal items belonging to the captured women behind this painting in boxy cubby holes that mirror the basement cells below.
    Wooden and concrete accents feature on the main floor and in the basement”Mimi wanted to use the piece of artwork as a little Easter egg [a term for hidden messages in a film] for later because it’s the first thing Noa sees and she’s drawn towards it,” reflected Morden.
    “The idea was that if we can draw everything back to body parts then we can start to create the story’s subliminal messaging and foreshadow what’s to come as much as we can.”

    Seven houses that play a starring role in films including Parasite and The Power of the Dog

    The production designer said that it was important to visually connect the main floor to the basement, which was partly achieved by adding wooden elements to the mainly concrete basement and concrete elements to the largely wooden main floor.
    Eventually, Cave and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski had the idea to add vivid and humorous sunset murals to the walls of the women’s cells.
    The decision to incorporate colourful carpets became natural after this, linking the basement to Steve’s opulent quarters above, according to Morden.
    Kitschy holiday-like murals were added to the cells to reflect Steve’s obnoxious nature”The idea was, what if we made the basement this space that Steve thought he was gifting to these people?” she explained, referencing Steve’s obnoxious and flamboyant character.
    “What if we use the idea that this misogynistic and unaware male was like, ‘I’m going to create a room that’s going to feel so nice for my victims?’ What would he put in there?”
    Each of the women’s rooms has a different coloured carpetCinematographically, Fresh also has a warm and fleshy colour palette of reds and oranges throughout, which nods to its graphic storyline.
    “I think for me, the biggest thing is just telling people to find all the Easter eggs in the film. There’s so much repeated imagery, especially around body parts,” concluded Morden.
    Other recent film and TV productions that feature architecturally-centred set design include Oscar-winning The Power of the Dog and BBC drama The Girl Before.
    The images are courtesy of Jennifer Morden.
    Project credits:
    Director: Mimi CaveWriter: Lauryn KahnProduction designer: Jennifer MordenSet decorator: Stephanie AjmeriaSet designers: Peter Stratford and Amanda De CastroCinematographer: Pawel Pogorzelski

    Read more: More

  • in

    Tristan Auer designs Blade Runner-inspired bathroom for Axor

    Promotion: drawing on the aesthetic of the film Blade Runner, architect Tristan Auer has designed a neon-lit bathroom concept for Axor to suit an imagined male client.

    Auer created the concept as part of the German brand’s Distinctive project, which tasks some of the world’s leading architects with creating highly individual bathrooms.
    Auer was free to design whatever he wanted, but had his imagination sparked by a suggestion in the brief that the bathroom sit in a high-rise apartment in Hong Kong.
    Tristan Auer’s bathroom concept was partly inspired by the aesthetic of Blade Runner”You know Blade Runner from Ridley Scott? Hong Kong is like that — something that is building on top of itself. Different layers,” he said.
    “You have the crowd on the street level, and then, as you elevate, it’s more and more futuristic. It’s why I combine old antiques pieces with very modern textures.”

    From this starting point, Auer developed a dark bathroom that combines reflective stainless steel elements with neon lighting and a mix of different travertine stones.
    He wanted to give the bathroom a masculine feel with ’80s touchesAxor’s Edge faucets, designed by Jean-Marie Massaud, further fuelled his worldbuilding around the design, as he says their diamond-cut pyramidal pattern reminds him of an 80s icon, the ST Dupont lighter.
    “I don’t smoke, but I like to touch. So that sets the stage — Dupont, those colors, those ambiances,” he said, explaining that, in combination with the “masculine” travertine, it helped him to build a picture of his imagined client.
    “It’s for a man. Definitely selfish. The guy is only thinking about himself. He likes to collect. He’s a hedonist.”
    The pattern on the Axor Edge faucets fuelled Auer’s imaginationAs well as the Axor Edge washbasin faucet and freestanding bath faucet, Auer’s bathroom features the Axor ShowerHeaven and Axor Edge thermostat in the shower and Philippe Starck’s ultramodern Axor Universal rectangular accessories.
    They all have a polished gold optic finish, which adds to the bold and moodily space-age look of the bathroom.
    “Axor Edge is great, and not only because Jean-Marie is a good friend,” said Auer. “I would have liked to have designed it before him!”
    The Axor Edge tapware is by Jean-Marie MassaudAuer describes himself as an “interior and emotion” architect, because of how he reads and interprets his clients’ wishes, drawing inspiration from them rather than imposing his own style.
    He started his career with French interior designer and architect Christian Liaigre, who worked wholly bespoke at the time, and says he learned to design everything down to the door handle.
    Auer mixed layers of modern elements and antique pieces in the bathroom concept”I know the artisans,” he said. “I know the process. And individualisation is very interesting because, for me, that’s luxury, to have something made for you.”
    Individualisation of living spaces is the focus of Axor’s Distinctive project, for which Auer and fellow architects Sarah Poniatowski and Hadi Teherani have all designed highly personalised bathrooms.
    Axor sees individualisation as a growing trend, with people seeking more personal expressions of style following decades of globalisation and standardisation.
    To view more of Axor’s products, visit its website.
    Partnership content
    This article was written by Dezeen for Axor as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Attitude of “permanent renewal” drives retail success says Colette co-founder Sarah Andelman in Liganova talk

    Promotion: Sarah Andelman, co-founder of Parisian concept store Colette, has discussed the unexpected approaches needed to succeed in the future retail landscape in a talk hosted by Dezeen and brand retail experts Liganova during Milan design week.

    Andelman was in conversation with Dezeen’s chief content officer Benedict Hobson at brand and retail experience company Liganova’s Salone Club, a live event held in a lounge overlooking the rooftops of Milan.
    The event explored the topic of the future of retail and how brands can create relevant and meaningful experiences in stores through curation and collaboration, with Andelman drawing on her decades of experience helming Colette alongside her mother, Colette Roussaux.
    The talk included Mathias Ullrich, Ben Hobson and Sarah AndelmanThe Paris boutique – opened in 1997 and widely considered one of the most influential stores in the world – brought together fashion, streetwear and beauty products. The space also included a gallery, bookshop, cafe and “water bar” serving more than 100 varieties of bottled water.
    Mother and daughter kept things fresh by changing the windows and displays every week, and Andelman said that it was the fact that they would always “renew ourselves” that meant people would come back to see what’s new.

    “We would always push and try to introduce things we haven’t seen yet, and this permanent renewal,” she said. “It was a mix of brands and mix of events. I think this energy helped create what Colette was.”
    Andelman is the co-founder of Parisian concept store ColetteColette closed in late 2017 when it was almost at the height of its popularity and Andelman says going out on a high when the time felt right was “the best decision we took”.
    The next year she founded her consulting agency, Just an Idea, which has worked with brands including Valentino and Nike to produce unique and tailored retail experiences.
    Andelman considers collaboration one of the keys to current and future retail success but says it has become harder than ever to make an impression in the space.
    Sarah Andelman was in conversation with Ben Hobson at Liganova’s Salone Club at Milan design week 2022″Now there are so many unexpected collaborations that you’re not surprised anymore,” she said. “It’s really everywhere.”
    “We had so many collaborations of brands with artists, brands with brands, I think now maybe we’ll talk to writers, to architects, to hospitality, to find new ways of developing a new format of collaboration to bring a new dimension to the classic collaboration,” she continued.
    Curation is also key according to Andelman, who urges curators to embrace their idiosyncracies without fear. It is something she and Roussaux were known for at Colette, which presented high-end labels alongside undiscovered emerging designers.
    Andelman spoke in front of an audience of Liganova partners, clients and friends”For a good curator I think you need knowledge, you need to know what exists, you need to be super curious, to have to go to multiple trade shows, showrooms, anything,” she said. “You hear, you read, you follow information, you really just follow your instinct, to not try to duplicate something you have seen somewhere else.”
    In the future, she believes the real world and metaverse will come to intersect in the retail space, requiring continuity of approach from brands.
    At the same time, there will continue to be a place for bricks-and-mortar stores, especially “retail experiences” that capture the senses and are almost museum-like in their approach.
    The live talk took place in a rooftop lounge looking out over Milan”I think bricks and mortar are here to stay if there is this extra touch to make it the opposite of the internet, this human service, maybe a drink, this extra service that you won’t find online,” she said.
    “I think it’s fantastic for brands like Jacquemus to have a concept like its pop-up at Selfridges,” she said. “It’s a focus on one bag. You feel the water, you hear the sound.”
    “In an experience, I think you need all of these: the sound, the smell, the touch and the fact that it’s not a system that they will duplicate in Tokyo, New York, but they really take the time to design something different for each market,” she continued. “The challenge is to keep it short and to renew and do something completely different next time.”
    To learn more about Liganova, visit its website.
    Milan design week 2022
    Salone Club took place on 8 June as part of Milan design week 2022. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
    Partnership content
    This article was written by Dezeen for Liganova as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Watch a talk on post-pandemic design with Gaggenau at Milan design week

    Dezeen teamed up with luxury kitchen appliances brand Gaggenau to host and stream a talk about the design world’s response to the coronavirus pandemic with Dara Huang and Michel Rojkind during Milan design week 2022.

    Moderated by Dezeen’s editor-at-large Amy Frearson, the talk explored how design responds to crisis with innovation, how designers can foster resilience in difficult times, and the increased interest in local manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and the design of communal and interior spaces in the past two years.

    Watch a talk on designing better kitchens with Gaggenau at Milan design week

    The panel featured architect and designer Huang, who is founder of Design Haus Liberty, and Rojkind, founder of Mexico-based architecture firm Rojkind Arquitectos.
    The talk took place in the conservatory of Milan’s historic Villa Necchi Campiglio, where the brand created a 360-square-foot interactive installation called A Statement of Form to showcase its highest-grade appliances.
    Dara Huang is the founder of Design Haus LibertyHuang founded Design Haus Liberty in 2013. The studio has offices in London and Hong Kong, and was awarded three RIBA awards in its first three years as a practice.

    She also launched lighting brand DH Liberty Lux, and co-founded Vivahouse, an initiative that turns disused commercial spaces into co-living units.
    The daughter of a Taiwanese scientist who emigrated to the USA to work for NASA, Huang has a masters degree in architecture from Harvard University. Before founding Design Haus Liberty she worked at Herzog & de Meuron in Basel and Foster + Partners in London.
    Projects by Design Haus Liberty include Villa Mosca Bianca on the shore of Lake Maggiore in Italy, and a cluster of apartments in Shoreditch, London.
    Michel Rojkind, founder of Rojkind ArquitectosMexican architect Rojkind founded Rojkind Arquitectos in 2002. Born and raised in Mexico, Rojkind studied architecture and urban planning at Universidad Iberoamericana.
    He founded Rojkind Arquitectos in 2002. One of the studio’s recently completed projects is a concert hall on the Gulf of Mexico, built for the philharmonic orchestra of Boca Del Rio. Other projects include the renovation of Mexico’s National Film Archive and Film Institute and the Liverpool Department Store.
    The talk takes place at Milan’s historic Villa Necchi CampiglioThe talk was the last in a series of three hosted by Dezeen in collaboration with Gaggenau running 7-9 June, which were all moderated by Frearson.
    During the first talk, which took place on Tuesday, designer Søren Rose, BIG’s director of interiors Francesca Portesine, and Foster + Partners’ head of industrial design Mike Holland discussed sustainability and longevity in design.
    Yesterday, Dezeen hosted a talk about designing kitchens that form “the hub of the home”, which featured a panel including Dada’s director of product development Andrea Molteni and designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg.
    A Statement of Form is on show between 7-11 June during Milan design week, daily from 11am to 5pm. To visit, register at www.gaggenau.com. You can watch all the talks live on Dezeen here.
    Milan design week 2022
    A Statement of Form is part of Milan design week 2022, which takes place from 6 to 12 June 2022. See our Milan design week 2022 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.
    Partnership content
    This article was written by Dezeen for Gaggenau as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Bethan Laura Wood wraps boudoir in swirling marble-like pattern

    A psychedelic print in summery shades adorns the walls, bedspread and furniture inside Summer Room, an installation at Milan design week by British designer Bethan Laura Wood.

    Wood created the site-specific installation inside the art gallery Nilufar Depot as a reference to Ornate, a furniture exhibition set inside a boudoir that she debuted at Milan design week 2021.
    Wood has installed Summer Room inside Nilufar Depot”Summer Room is a continuation of the solo show Ornate that I had in September,” Wood told Dezeen.
    “I wanted to show the Ornate project in a very different environment. I specifically picked colours and added in a lot of yellow and greens to kind of have this kind of sugar summery colour tone which is slightly different,” she said.
    The living room and bedroom are furnished in a psychedelic printThe living area is wrapped in Wood’s new design Endless Meisen – a looping repeat pattern made from high-resolution scans of bespoke Alpi Wood veneers.

    This pattern was then used around the two-roomed interior to upholster bedding, cushions and also furniture such as the desk and shelving unit.
    The bedspread is covered in the same bold patternVisitors can wander from the living room through to the boudoir – the traditional term for a woman’s bedroom or private interior space, in another nod to the Ornate exhibition.
    “In here we wanted to play with what it looks like in a much more enclosed space, and with a much darker background behind aluminium so that it really kind of pops in a very different way,” she explained.
    New objects installed in the maximalist space include Temple Panda wall sconces, while a wiggly headboard above the bed is among previously featured items.

    Bethan Laura Wood’s Ornate exhibition features furniture informed by boudoirs

    In the corner of the living room is a new piece called Trellis Column, a hanging light that Wood designed to recall the metal structures often found behind traditional lighting fittings.
    “When I visited factories like Venini or these old school glass houses, a lot of the armature behind the light fittings is something I’ve always found really beautiful,” she said.
    “I really wanted to make a project where the armature and the decoration were more in conversation rather than the decoration [alone].”
    Wood has displayed a hanging light called Trellis ColumnNilufar Gallery showcases existing and new pieces by 24 other designers selected by Nilufar’s gallerist Nina Yashar, who founded the centre in 1979.
    Other projects by Wood include an installation of giant canapé-shaped sculptures and a group exhibition that explores the friendships between designers.
    Photography is courtesy of Nilufar Gallery.
    Summer Room is part of Milan design week 2022, which takes place from 6 to 12 June 2022. See Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Sarah Poniatowski designs teal and teak indoor-outdoor bathroom for Axor

    Promotion: interior designer Sarah Poniatowski has drawn on her connection to the French seaside to create a tranquil bathroom concept for Axor combining teal tiles, teak wood and bronze fittings.

    Poniatowski, the founder of Maison Sarah Lavoine, designed the concept as part of Axor’s Distinctive project, which presents personalised bathroom ideas from leading architects and designers.
    The Paris-based designer answered the brief with a coastal indoor-outdoor bathroom, referencing the place where she feels most connected with nature.
    Sarah Poniatowski’s seaside bathroom concept for Axor includes an outdoor shower”I have a deep connection with the south-west region of France,” Poniatowski said. “It’s so authentic, and nature is everywhere. It’s the most relaxing place in the world for me.”
    “The goal was to emphasise the surroundings with an indoor-outdoor bathroom and create a relaxing space with a summer holiday feeling.”

    Poniatowski’s concept includes an outdoor shower area that flows on from the main bathroom, where multiple doorways, large mirrors and louvre windows allow in plentiful light and enhance the feeling of being immersed in nature.
    The design combines raw pine and teak wood with a travertine stone washbasinWood floorboards and panelling along the walls and ceiling give the space a cabin-like feel, but one enlivened by Poniatowski’s material and colour combinations.
    Along with raw pine wood panelling and teak frames, the interior features a travertine bathtub and washbasin, teak tiling and, in the indoor shower, a feature section of multicoloured Zellige tiles that introduce blocks of deep purple and pale pink.
    Poniatowski describes it as “a place where you can daydream yet relax, be creative yet stand still, enjoy the outside while being in your very own bubble”.
    The indoor shower features multicoloured tiles”It’s all about balance,” she said. “Hence the choice to play with contrasts.”
    Poniatowski completed her bathroom concept with Axor’s Starck fittings, designed by Philippe Starck, in the brushed bronze FinishPlus surface finish.
    The fittings include the Axor Starck Nature Shower outdoors, another slender shower column indoors, two faucets on the washbasin and a floorstanding faucet at the tub.
    The bathroom is completed with Axor Starck fittings in brushed bronzePoniatowski sees the tapware as creating another opportunity to bring balance through contrast, with the Starck designs having linear, contemporary forms and smooth finishes that punctuate the organic-looking bathroom surfaces.
    “The design of the Axor Starck collection is very distinctive,” she said. “It was important to create a setting in line with it: emphasise it but don’t overwhelm it, and vice versa.”
    Poniatowski created her concept bathroom to suit an imagined personality who loves to travel and appreciates a fast-paced life while also knowing when to stand still and contemplate.
    The fittings provide a contrast to the raw and natural materialsShe designed it as part of Axor’s Distinctive project, which explores the rise of individualisation in personal living spaces via concept designs and discussions with experts and partners.
    The brand sees the trend as a response to decades of globalisation and standardisation, with people now seeking more personal expressions of luxury and style.
    “No one is the same, and this is what I love about my job — meeting people and creating something like nothing before,” said Poniatowski.
    To view more of Axor’s products, visit its website.
    Partnership content
    This article was written by Dezeen for Axor as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

    Read more: More