Kaldewei, a highly modern industrial company in a special collaboration
What distinguishes Kaldewei? One of the first characteristics of this company is the choice to use only one material, enamelled steel. Kaldewei has become a leading international manufacturer of high-quality enamelled steel shower surfaces, bathtubs and washbasins; it is present in more than 80 countries and has 12 subsidiaries in Austria, China, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, South-East Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The entire production, from steel forming to finishing with enamel, takes place exclusively at KALDEWEI’s headquarters in Ahlen, Westphalia. KALDEWEI steel enamel combines the strength of steel and the resistance of glass according to a formula that is constantly being refined and optimised in the company’s own laboratories. Another key element of Kaldewei’s business is its strong focus on sustainability issues: the company is committed to environmentally friendly practices and procedures in manufacture, packaging, transport and disposal.
KALDEWEI was the first bathroom manufacturer to be awarded the ISO 14025 sustainability certification by the German Institute for Building and the Environment. All KALDEWEI products made of enamelled steel are produced from natural and pure resources and can be completely recycled at the end of their life cycle. In addition to these exceptional materialand technical qualities, Kaldewei products are made to meet high design criteria. Over the years, the company has been honoured with more than 150 design awards worldwide (including Red Dot design award, Plus X Award, Iconic Awards, Interior Innovation Award, iF Product Design Award). In addition to developing design through the KALDEWEI Design Centre, the company chooses to work with renowned design studios such as Sottsass Associati, Phoenix Design, Studio Aisslinger and designers Arik Levy and Anke Salomon.
This year, Kaldwei unveiled an exciting new collaboration: during London Design Week, they announced the Kaldewei ‘Avocado Dreams‘ collection, exclusively designed by Bethan Laura Wood. With her “Avocado Dreams”, the British designer has worked on four iconic Kaldewei pieces to give them a new and exceptional look thanks to three almost psychedeliclooking pattern and colour variants: “Avocado Swirl” (green tones), “Avocado Sea” (blue/purple tones) and the “Avocado Disco” colour mix. Wood is inspired by the organic contours of the Meisterstück Oyo Duo bathtub and the purist simplicity of the Meisterstück Centro Duo Oval bathtub, the straight-lined Superplan Zero shower surface and the delicate Miena washbasin, All together the products now make up the Bethan Laura Wood Avocado Dreams collection.
PLATFORM TALKS ABOUT THIS EXCEPTIONAL COLLABORATION WITH BETHAN LAURA WOOD.
What inspired this fantastic explosion of colour in relation to Kaldewei’s iconic products? Bethan Laura Wood: I wanted to work with a colour palette that is neither too feminine nor too masculine. Additionally, I liked the idea of referencing the classic British avocado swimsuit, which holds a very emotional connection for many people in the UK. Personally, I love it when you can create an emotional connection with beautiful products. I chose three colour variations: one that leans more towards avocado tones, one that incorporates blue and violet tones to evoke a connection to water swirls. And the third one, of course, because I am a very colourful person, is like a colour disco for a bold and adventurous bath user. In the project with Kaldewei, I was very interested in designing a pattern that reflects the aura of the bathroom itself or the idea of a luxurious space where one takes time for oneself. I love this kind of luxury and the feeling of being enveloped in something beautiful, so I took this as a reference for my patterns. I also looked at the typical soft bathrobes thatpeople often wear after a nice bubble bath, which is where the inspiration for the swirling patterns comes from.
What was the most challenging and interesting element for you in realising the collection with Kaldewei? How did you reconcile your vision with the technical aspect of producing enamelled steel shower trays and washbasins? B. L. W: I had never worked with this type of material before. I always like to work in a field or with a material that is new to me. That’s why I found the challenge of designing an enamelled steel edition with very special patterns for Kaldewei exciting. It is exciting to work with Kaldewei because it is a highly modern industrial company and most people have minimalist white bathrooms. I think it’s great that Kaldewei wants to collaborate with me and create something that stands out with extraordinary patterns and bright colours. To reflect the high quality, delicate texture, and technical expertise of Kaldewei’s products, I wanted to bring a certain sophistication to the patterns. Striking a balance between bold graphics and beautiful, soft forms. It’s similar with the material: steel is pressed powerfully into soft shapes and finished with elegant enamelling. This creates luxurious contours that fit the body perfectly and make it feel comfortable. I wanted to capture this enchanting feeling in the shapes and swirls of my patterns, a feeling of elegance that precisely mirrors the precision I observed during my visit to the production where these beautiful pieces are made.
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