Designed by Heine/Lenz/Zizka Projekte, the Alape stand at ISH in Frankfurt – the fair for bathroom design, energy-efficient heating and air conditioning technology and renewable energies – appears to defy gravity, defined by its five (seemingly) floating, open cubes.
Fashioned from a framework of fine metal, each island showcases a different product category or mounting option that the bathware company launched this year. The star of the show is a white sculptural installation positioned centrally in the space, acting almost as a main public square. Composed from stacked rectangular volumes of thin glazed-steel, this sculpture demonstrates the use and qualities of the material – precision, lightweight and filigree impression.
Applying metal-framed podiums emphasises the idea of refinement and craftsmanship, each finished with a countertop/base of a different material including steel and wood, which add a feeling of tactility and warmth. Here, washbasins are displayed almost like museum objects. Recessed bases with clever detailing give the impression that the cubes are floating to further suggest a sense of lightness. Punctuating each island are sunken niches overhead lined with copper, mirroring the outline of the floating islands below. To maintain coherence, similar thin frames have also been used to encase other bath furniture and create customised bar stools. In contrast to the mainly pure white setting, black was applied to visually differentiate the information area dedicated to architects and designers.
As well as the trade fair presentation, Heine/Lenz/Zizka Projekte has been responsible for a number of films that communicate the craftsmanship of Alape’s washbasins and sinks made of glazed steel: