Design | Dornbracht

An ode to water

How the Elemental Spa concept defines bathroom architecture and allocates water within the room

Water is regarded as the source of all life. Which is why myths, philosophical treatises and even religious ceremonies have linked it with people across cultures. Elemental Spa builds on these rites and beliefs. To this day, the concept is a strategically significant one, as the fittings have been given a whole new meaning – especially in relation to the room. It came into being in 2007 as a result of the close collaboration between Dornbracht and sieger design.

The bathroom as a place for rituals, as a refuge for cleansing body and soul – this was the idea behind Elemental Spa. Throughout the design process, the focus was not on finding forms, but rather on use, and emotions: in short, on the way water is supplied. Just like with the MEM and Balance Modules fittings, water was to flow at a slower, more relaxed pace in order to illustrate the most direct route to it, as well as to inner strength and energy.

Elemental Spa allocates water in a bathroom. Through this ancient concept, the fittings took on a more autonomous role, making them no longer just objects that are added to an already well-planned bathroom. sieger design focused on the layout of different sources and defined the connections to the walls, floor and ceiling – in short, to the room as a whole. Elemental Spa is therefore less a product design than it is a spatial concept, hence the complex project’s original name of “Waterspaces”. In order to meet these more elaborate requirements, a new iconography and formal language had to be developed.

The fittings have two hallmarks: the chrome-plated, angular and crystalline water dispenser resembles a mouthpiece embedded in a monolithic corpus whose white Corian exudes neutrality. These two components come together in one harmonious sculpture. The water – which turned out to be the greatest challenge – needed to appear as a laminar stream. This is a way of adding an aesthetic dimension to water and forming it into a spring/fountain. In order for the element to flow downwards in an uninterrupted stream, a wide range of models were produced in the agency’s workshop until a natural result had been achieved. A total of six products were created, each with their own name; the ITA and IAM washstand fittings, the KATA and NOTA as wall-mounted and free-standing pieces, and SATI and SANGHA for the shower.

sieger design devoted itself to fashioning an experience, sensual impressions and ways of using the bathroom. Water supply, outlets and regulation play a crucial role in terms of product design. Elemental Spa visualises these requirements and creates a way to shine the spotlight on the enormous value of water as a resource, and helps develop ways of maximising the element’s potential.

Picture and Movie Copyright: Dornbracht
Photography: Thomas Popinger
Communication Concept, Creation and Architecture for Dornbracht: Meiré und Meiré