AXOR x Starck: Celebrating a Design Partnership of 30 Years

Why has design become so important for the way we furnish our lives and organize our everyday lives? And why has design played a key role in the development of the sanitary industry in recent decades? For design to shape our perception and influence our everyday culture, it must find the right expression for a need, a Zeitgeist or a new function. Of course, this is easier said than done, because the “right” forms and the necessary functions are easier to recognize in retrospect than in the moment of the design process. Therefore, without the commitment of exceptional personalities who take the initiative in shaping this moment, there is hardly any real change in our environment. This requires designers with vision and a strong creative instinct, but it also requires entrepreneurs with imagination and courage. One of the best examples is surely Philippe Starck and AXOR celebrating the 30th anniversary of their collaboration this year.

Philippe Starck, one of the most visionary creators of our time, uses design as a creative tool to provide a service; his prolific and multiform work demonstrates what creativity can achieve when it is used to both innovate and, always with respect and humor, play with traditional patterns and norms. Today, we can see in modern bathrooms what was hidden for so long under the crust of standardized tiling and stereotypical ceramics: still a highly functional space in which high-quality materials, colors and a sensual feel are combined with modern and elegant shapes. In 1994, Starck contrasted the “wet room” with the Salon d’Eau, literally translated as the “Water Living Room”. Radical and successful, this concept completely changed the image of the bathroom.

“There are many ground-breaking ideas that Philippe Starck brought to AXOR or even to the entire industry. The two most important ones were not only to think about the object, but to design a space and, of course, to rethink the interaction between people and products,” summarizes Olivier Sogno, VP AXOR.

AXOR x Starck – a 30-Year Collaboration

It all started with the Salon d’Eau, which included the AXOR Starck collection in 1994. The image of a bathroom with a freestanding bathtub, washbasin and toilet, including the faucets from this collection, and a room flooded with daylight, without tiles, and characterized by natural materials, was both a revolution and a commercial success that still shapes our idea of modern bathroom design today. The AXOR Starck collection has become an icon of bathroom design. It is still one of the most successful bathroom collections AXOR has launched to date.

“A design icon cannot be trendy or unfashionable. It has to be timeless in order not to become outdated. Iconic design is something that teaches something, something useful with the ability to improve the quality of life in every respect,” says Philippe Starck about his first collection with AXOR.

Based on the conviction that good design creates products that are not only beautiful, but also good, AXOR and its design partners develop solutions at the highest aesthetic and technological level that allow for the respectful, conscious use of water, while at the same time providing new pleasure in the water experience.

“With AXOR, we share a deep love of water. We come from water, we are made of water, and we need water. I have an atomic relationship with this element, and I am always sad when this vital treasure is mistreated. That is why I wanted to work for the protection and preservation of water. AXOR had the same vision. If you want to save water, it shouldn’t be a punishment. The only way to make these iconic faucets successful was to present water like an upgrade,” Philippe Starck explains.

In the fall of 2012, AXOR wrote another chapter in bathroom history: together with Philippe Starck, the design brand presented AXOR Starck Organic, inspired by setting new standards in design, water handling and the water experience. “The AXOR Starck Organic collection features a new ergonometric handling – to save water in an easy and harmonic way. This places this product at the highest level of ecology”, explains Philippe Starck. “The shape comes from the tight line of the vegetal and the human body to remind us of the obligatory coherence between us and saving water”.

In 2015 followed the creation of AXOR Starck V, the most innovative of AXOR faucets which pays a tribute to the beauty and magic of water, as “for the first time, we have the opportunity of really experiencing water: only water and air, vortex, and matter,” states Starck. The faucet features a removable spout made of organic crystal glass or porcelain for easy cleaning.

Perfection in production and function also applies to the shower: AXOR ShowerComposition, which was launched in 2023, brings a new, modern and timeless design language to the shower area. Whether as an all-in-one shower panel or an individual arrangement of floating modules, the AXOR ShowerComposition program impresses with exceptional performance, such as the PowderRain spray type of the overhead shower and the shoulder shower with an adjustable angle of inclination. AXOR ShowerComposition offers a maximum of functions with a minimum of resources. Also in 2023, the AXOR Suite washbasins and bathtub completed the AXOR x Philippe Starck bathroom. Each piece is made from hard-wearing and durable SolidSurface material. Flowing contours, precise curves and soft inner basins create a clean, modern look with universal appeal. At the same time, custom-made elements such as the metal wrap-around of the washbasin and the bathtub shelf allow users to express their individuality with AXOR FinishPlus surface colors. “The key words for the future and ecology are longevity, transmission and heritage. AXOR Suite combines metal with SolidSurface - a high-tech material - and thus stands for longevity and elegance. It is designed for eternity,” says designer Philippe Starck.

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