Duravit and designer Sebastian Herkner have created Zencha, homage to mindfulness and traditional craftsmanship, perfectly balanced bathroom design that flatters the senses with tactile surfaces.
Duravit AG is today a leading international manufacturer of designer bathrooms. The brand has complete bathroom supplier designs and manufactures sanitary ceramics, bathroom furniture, bathtubs and shower trays, wellness systems, shower-toilets, faucets, and accessories as well as installation systems. Alongside its in-house design expertise, Duravit also works closely on product development with an international network of designers such as Cecilie Manz, Philippe Starck, Christian Werner, Sebastian Herkner, and Bertrand Lejoly as well as talented newcomers. The brand’s latest collection Zencha combines delicate shapes with high- quality, sustainable materials such as PEFC-certified woods. It comes in a wide range of variants and its shapes, colors, materials, measurements, and equipment options can be individually configured for various interior design settings.
Both the sanitary objects and the furniture are manufactured at Duravit’s production facilities in Hornberg and Schenkenzell in the Black Forest and are finished by hand. Surfaces and edges of the furniture are painstakingly sealed to be water-resistant and are impervious to splashes and high
humidity. Optimum stability of the tall cabinets is ensured via 8mm-thick rear walls that are bonded in a milled groove. Sebastian Herkner, who spent over four years working on the project and made several site visits with his team, said: “Duravit represents tradition as well as expertise in the design and technical sectors.”
The outstanding design of the Zencha bathroom collection by Sebastian Herkner was inspired by traditional Japanese rituals and craftsmanship and combines unusual above-counter basins with minimalistic furniture. The most striking feature of the basins and bathtub is the rounded shape that opens into a graceful, outward-curving edge.
The dual-walled sanitary objects made from DuraCeram and DuraSolid are paired with modular, geometric bathroom furniture with an elegant frame. The furniture is made from materials such as wood and textured glass and not only offers plenty of storage space, but is also extremely pleasant to the touch. “I’ve always wanted to develop a bathroom series for Duravit,” said the designer from Offenbach. He can now take his place in the roll-call of renowned designers such as Philippe Starck and Cecilie Manz who have designed collections for the German manufacturer.
Striking & delicate: the design
The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. It is increasingly becoming a place of retreat and ritual. With its balanced shapes, colors, and materials, Zencha appeals to all of our senses. The inspiration for the design are hand-made ceramic teacups that the designer discovered in Japan. Their gentle, organic shapes are transposed on to the sanitary objects in abstract form. Designed as cambered rectangles, they are bulbous at the bottom and taper upwards with an elegant curve. The materials used are equally sensual, with basins manufactured from DuraCeram. This material enables above-counter basins with an extremely thin rim thickness to be created that are robust and extremely easy to care for. Seamlessly manufactured from DuraSolid, the bathtubs impress with their pleasantly warm feel and elegant matt aesthetic.
The straight-lined design of the furniture creates an intriguing contrast to the organic sanitary objects and complements the collection’s subtle material and color concept. The outstanding design feature here is an elegant frame just six millimeters thick. It creates a uniform shadow gap that lends the furniture a graceful and effortless feel. “You can only manufacture technically sophisticated solutions like this in a consistent quality if, like Duravit, you have your own manufacturing facilities with the corresponding expertise and high levels of craftsmanship,” said Herkner.
Multi-faceted & functional: modular furniture elements
The furniture of the Zencha collection is designed in a modular fashion and can be deployed in a variety of ways, for instance as open shelves or drawers with push-open and self-closing technology. Combined with the above-counter basin, they become a beautiful centerpiece in the bathroom. As a storage area for everyday (bathroom) items, they give structure to the room and imbue coziness into various styles.
The carcass and frame of the furniture come with an easy-to-clean surface and anti-fingerprint effect and are available in the subtle colors White Super Matt, Taupe Super Matt, and Graphite Super Matt. The cabinet fronts add a playful element and are offered in a range of variants. While the options in Natural Oak and Oak Black produce a warm and tactile effect, white plate glass and black textured glass introduce a degree of sensual elegance into the bathroom.
Herkner has further designed a separate mirror that emulates the contour of the round basins. Its organic form is accentuated by an all-round LED strip, and the light is turned on and off via a sensor on the bottom edge of the mirror.
Elegant above-counter basins
The sanitary objects made from DuraCeram consist of two differently shaped above-counter basins: a curved square measuring 420 x 420 mm and a rounded rectangle measuring 550 x 390 mm – in each case with or without a tap panel – in the colors White, White Satin Matt, Gray Satin Matt, and Anthracite Matt. The square variant of the above-counter basin with its ceramic cover is a particular talking point in the bathroom, and is also covered by Duravit’s lifetime warranty. It can be combined with toilets from a range of Duravit lines.
Bathtubs with a pool-like feeling
The shape of the square version of the free-standing bathtub, made from DuraSolid and measuring 1250 x 1250 mm, is drawn from the square above-counter basin. Bathers are invited to immerse themselves blissfully into the deep water, an experience reminiscent of a Japanese Onsen bath. The bathtub is additionally available in two compact versions measuring 1600 x 850 mm and 1800 x 900 mm, optionally with the air whirl system integrated into the base for a gentle massage effect.