Beyond the Ephemeral

November 2021

Time and space play a decisive role in design. Objects can transform into icons, provided they are immune to transience and blend into any environment – just like AXOR's timeless and placeless faucets.


Trends are unsteady creatures. They disappear as quickly as they arrived. True design icons, on the other hand, remain. They are timeless in the best sense: even after years and decades of use, they are still relevant. But the essence of a design icon is yet another: "A true icon must also be placeless. It must inhabit different spaces, shape different worlds, express different personalities — all while remaining true to itsel", explains Anke Sohn, Head of Global Brand Marketing at AXOR.

Based in Schiltach, Germany, the manufacturer of faucets and showers for luxurious bathrooms and kitchens has worked with many known designers such as Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio, Jean-Marie Massaud, Nendo, Patricia Urquiola, Phoenix Design, Barber Osgerby and others. Over the years, many of their creations have established themselves as contemporary design classics that can stand the test of time and place. The reason for this is obvious: when an object posses a strong character, it does not run the risk of being lost in interaction with others within the domestic landscape. It retains its character in any surrounding, in any furnishing style, without dominating it. On the contrary: Icons manage the feat of adapting to the respective location, becoming an integral part of it.

Nature is a reliable source of inspiration. With the AXOR Massaud collection, French designer Jean-Marie Massaud brings a miniaturised waterfall into the home. The faucet lets the water flow out of a thin, narrow spout in a flat manner. This spout sits on the underside of a plate, which can be used as a shelf for a wide variety of things. The faucet spout is raised by an organically shaped base. On its outside, a filigree pin serves to control the water flow and temperature. The design intensifies the ritual of washing hands, triggered by a new softness with which the water touches the human skin.

Philippe Starck also changes the outflow of water with the AXOR Starck V series. The transparency of the open spout enables that the eyes can see how a swirl of water rises up inside the crystal glass shell and finally flows outwards via an organically shaped faucet. The faucet creates a moment of pause, a poetic calm. It takes the everyday ritual of hand washing to a different level by forcing a new awareness. The vortex is in constant transformation, charged with energy, performing pirouettes like a prima ballerina. The technique acts effortlessly. It creates a sensual experience, a surprising moment.

The French designer shows an affinity with nature with the AXOR Starck Organic series.  Here, the body of the faucet is not divided into an opaque and a transparent segment, but runs continuously. The organic shape evokes associations with branches – and invites the eyes and fingers to explore in equal measure. The faucet fascinates with its sensuality and sculptural quality. These do not form a contrast to the ergonomics, but rather reinforce them by pairing ease of use with pleasure.

Sustainability is the premise for living in tune with nature. The AXOR Starck Organic faucet has a standardised flow rate of just 3.5 litres per minute. Inside the body, water is enriched with air. This creates a gentle, voluminous spray consisting of a multitude of micro-fine drops that requires 50 percent less water than a standard faucet. If a more voluptuous and powerful jet is required, the flow rate can be increased to up to five litres per minute via a boost function.

The AXOR Citterio faucet has been designed by Antonio Citterio. The Milanese architect was guided by the strength of archetypes. Clear, timeless geometry meets balanced proportions. Hand-polished surfaces provide perfect light reflections that enhance brightness and shine. A design that creates a temporal bond: it appeals to modernity, but at the same time weaves in a sense of classicism and Italian elegance. One could also say: it is a stylistic chameleon, a time-travelling companion that does not interfere with the room, but blends harmoniously into its surroundings. A design that could always have been there, that cannot be fixed in time. Just as an icon should be.

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Axor Starck Organic
Axor Starck Organic
Axor Starck
Axor Starck
AXOR Starck V
Axor Starck
Axor Citterio
Axor Citterio
Axor Massaud
Axor Massaud
Axor Massaud
AXOR Citterio
Portrait, Philippe Starcke, Axor Starck
Portrait of JMM at the Studio
Portrait, Antonio Citterio