‘The Small Hours’ bathroom collection by Patricia Urquiola for Salvatori is an ode to having time for yourself

Patricia Urquiola's new bathroom collection pushes Salvatori's formal aesthetic with an unprecedented combination of stone and steel

The Small Hours bathroom collection by Patricia Urquiola and Salvatori
‘The Small Hours’ bathroom collection by Patricia Urquiola for Salvatori
(Image credit: Lea Anouchinsky and Alberto Carlo Macchi)

‘The Small Hours’, Patricia Urquiola's new bathroom collection, is the star of the show at Salvatori’s Milan showroom, at via Solferino 11, on the occasion of Milan Design Week 2024: it consists of wall-hung, countertop and free-standing washbasins, a countertop with backsplash, as well as shelves, drawers, a shower tray, a round bathtub, and LED-illuminated mirrors and other accessories.

Patricia Urquiola and Salvatori bring new textural contrasts to the bathroom

Patricia Urquiola and Gabriele Salvatori with The Small Hours bathroom collection in Salvatori's Milan showroom

Patricia Urquiola and Gabriele Salvatori  with pieces from the new collection

(Image credit: Lea Anouchinsky and Alberto Carlo Macchi)

The Tuscan brand's formal aesthetic this year highlights its long-lasting relationship with natural stone, in new colours, textures, and combinations of materials. ‘We experimented with the contrast between the solidity of stone and smoothness of steel. “The Small Hours” is a title that addresses the theme of intimacy in a metaphorical way,’ says Patricia Urquiola. ‘It refers to those small private moments, which are dedicated to oneself.’ 

According to brand CEO Gabriele Salvatori, the collection is a clear representation of Salvatori's lateral thinking: ‘We first talked about a bathroom collection about two years ago. We had already worked together, because Patricia designed the “Taula” table for us and participated in The Village project – a collection of mini [houses] designed by renowned architects. But the bathroom project was something much more ambitious, so it took us a little longer to reach the final result.’

Patricia Urquiola and Salvatori

(Image credit: Lea Anouchinsky and Alberto Carlo Macchi)

From the freestanding washbasin to the statuesque bathtub, a cylindrical shape dominates everything. The roundness softens the architectural rigour, and the use of steel for the inside of the bathtub and washbasin not only defines the volumes, adding tactility and shine, but it also makes the overall design lighter – and practical, as it reduces the weight of the structure. 

‘The idea of combining steel and natural stone was a gamble. Just as it was a gamble for Salvatori to start working on marble textures, which are now our strength,’ says Gabriele Salvatori.

Salvatori The Small Hours Patricia Urquiola

(Image credit: Lea Anouchinsky and Alberto Carlo Macchi)

‘Marble is not the only protagonist,’ explains Urquiola, indicating the floating shelves made of steel, wood and natural stone, and a stool in walnut wood. ‘The drawers can be easily added to the washbasin composition. The shelves look also like a bookcase, capable of entering other environments.’ 

Salvatori's neutral palette of Bianco Carrara, Crema d'Orcia, Silk Georgette, and Pietra d'Avola is enhanced for the occasion by more vibrant greenish hues, such as Verde Guatemala and Verde Antico. Depending on the craftsmanship, the pale green of the stone highlights the profiles, combinations, and the less smooth or intentionally rough approach, such as the curling at the base of the tub: ‘Our approach was respectful, consistent with the history and culture of Salvatori, and allowed us to play with materials,’ adds Urquiola. 

Salvatori also underlines the work on modularity, as well as on the customisation of finishes and compositions. ‘Finally, there is an increasingly strong focus on how the bathroom interacts with the rest of the house: for this reason, within the collection, we have included a series of furniture pieces that can act as a hinge between these different spaces, creating a harmonious sense of continuity,’ Gabriele Salvatori explains.

Patricia Urquiola and Salvatori

(Image credit: Lea Anouchinsky and Alberto Carlo Macchi)

Among the available accessories are round and rectangular mirrors that can be personalised with the retro-illuminated phrase 'Believe me or your eyes'. 

‘Light is important to me,’ says Urquiola. ‘For this reason, we inserted it at various points, such as the back of the shelves or the shower ceiling.’ The light, which spreads gracefully on the stone before intensely reflecting on the steel, is not only intimate and delicate, but also almost meditative.

Salvatori Showroom

Via Solferino 11, 20121 Milan

16-21 April | 10am-9pm

salvatoriofficial.com patriciaurquiola.com

Read our full guide to Milan Design Week 2024

Cristina Kiran Piotti is an Italian-Indian freelance journalist. After completing her studies in journalism in Milan, she pursued a master's degree in the economic relations between Italy and India at the Ca' Foscari Challenge School in Venice. She splits her time between Milan and Mumbai and, since 2008, she has concentrated her work mostly on design, current affairs, and culture stories, often drawing on her enduring passion for geopolitics. She writes for several publications in both English and Italian, and she is a consultant for communication firms and publishing houses.