Super Soakers: Soaking Tubs that allow you to Soak in Style
The bathtub has become the showcase element of the home spa, thanks to a proliferation of unique new textures, materials, shapes and sizes. From thousand-pound tubs hand-chiseled out of blocks of stunning silver travertine extracted from quarries across the globe, to soaking tubs swathed in clusters of Swarovski crystals, there is no limit to the length people will go to soak in style.
One of the most interesting new trends in tubs is that of unique shapes. The freestanding, drop-in tubs from the Palomba Collection by Laufen were designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba and showcase organic shapes in ceramic. In producing the design for a freestanding tub, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba took their cues from the sea and refers to it as a “fingerprint of nature.” While the walls of the tub are of constant thickness, the bottom of the tub looks as though a cube has been rounded out – like the erosive effect of water.
The bathtub from the ILBAGNOALESSI dOt collection, which was conceptualized by Dutch Architect Wiel Arets for Alessi and created by Laufen, features geometric forms, and a round, dot-like recess, which adorns nearly every piece in the collection. The dot is a functional characteristic, similar to the dot on the “i” in this bathroom series. The bathtub appears reduced to completely flat surfaces and is architectural in appearance.
Geological forms and materials remind us of natural environments, which are ideal for a relaxing spa retreat. Some manufacturers are branching out with
bathtubs carved from large precious stone masses. Stone Forest’s Oval Soaking Tub – which is carved from a single block of black granite, complete with an integral seat – is custom crafted to individual requirements. Large cores are removed to specific depths creating the rough tub interior; it is then ground and polished down to a high gloss finish.
On the vintage front, old world tub designs are getting updated with the latest in tub technology. A custom tub creator called Six Eleven Architectural Bath Design sculpts their tubs from a rare proprietary-formulated cast polymer, which requires labor intensive production. These unique tubs, like the Tuscany – a clawfoot model – are thermo-insulated, thus requiring less energy to heat, and which in turn retains hot water longer than any cast iron or acrylic model.
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