Can a faucet be sensual? We had our doubts but were forced to eat them this morning (along with a tasty organic lunch) at the New York premiere of the Axor Starck Organic bathroom collection. World-renowned designer Philippe Starck joined Philippe Grohe, the head of Axor, to unveil the new line of curvaceous fixtures at the brand's Meatpacking District showroom. Both gentlemen had some fascinating things to say about the faucet's water-saving technology, advanced ergonomics and almost anatomical design, which Starck said was inspired by human, animal and vegetable life as well as "sexual energy". Read on to learn more.
Starck, who is known for the eco-consciousness he brings to his designs, teamed up with Hansgrohe to create a faucet that is not only beautiful, but very water-efficient. According to Philippe Grohe, the new faucet boasts a flow rate of just 0.9 gallons per minute on the standard setting (as compared to 1.5 gallons per minute on most other eco-friendly faucets on the market). You might think that a lower flow rate would leave your hands soapy, but we actually tested out the faucet for ourselves and it felt just as strong as a regular one. For times when a little more power is needed, the spray can be boosted up to 1.3 gallons per minute (which is still a 40% water savings over a regular faucet) just by clicking the handle one more time.
Mr. Grohe also detailed the fixture’s smart new temperature control, which has been completely separated from the flow control. “90 percent of people open it on full,” he explained of how most users operate a standard one-lever faucet. Instead of having to run the water for a while in order to change the temperature, the Axor Starck Organic line allows users to simply turn a handle located at the top of the faucet to the temperature they desire. The water can then be turned on after waiting 15 to 20 seconds. If you consider that almost a gallon of water runs down the drain every minute, it’s easy to imagine how this simple step can save a significant amount of water over the course of a month or a year.
In terms of design, Starck talked about how he explored the essence of life to find inspiration. The result was a bathroom fixture that feels minimalist, harmonious and, quite frankly, even a bit sexual. But perhaps our minds are just in the gutter because this morning’s presentation showed some examples of perfectly innocent objects – the stem of a plant and a man’s arm – that informed the organic lines of the final design. Sorry. But either way you swing it, there’s no denying that this is one sexy faucet.
The Axor Starck Organic collection will offer 4 different heights and a wall mounted option ranging from $520 to $820. Though the standard colors are gold and chrome, Hansgrohe says they can make the faucets in custom colors as well.