Tom Dixon and VitrA introduce the pop art bathroom

Fun and functionality combine in Tom Dixon’s ‘Liquid’ bathroom collection for VitrA

VitrA Liquid bathroom by Tom Dixon
(Image credit: VitrA)

In partnership with VitrA (opens in new tab)

Tom Dixon turned to both sanitary history and a dependable future for inspiration when designing his new bathroom collection for VitrA. ‘We looked at Victorian roll-top baths and church fonts,’ says Dixon. ‘Things that worked well but were also very evidently  long- lasting.’ 

With the ‘Liquid’ bathroom range, VitrA and Dixon were striving to achieve what the designer terms ‘an expressive minimalism – a very visible but modern functionality and a reduction in visual noise’. Ergo, exaggerated curves, forms and silhouettes, nodding to pop art sculptures by Jeff Koons and acknowledging Barbara Hepworth’s geometry of soft forms and rounded marble, adding personality and a contemporary sense of solidity.  

Two cylindrical basins and freestanding taps plus oval mirrors by VitrA and Tom Dixon

(Image credit: VitrA)

‘I like the feeling of permanence in Victorian bathrooms, with their big chunky taps and fat tubes. It’s an aesthetic that’s closely connected to a whole tradition of British engineering and has influenced the development of the bathroom all over the world. If the items from the collection feel a bit like a comic-book representation of the artefact, I think that's probably a good thing,’ says Dixon. ‘There's something fun about a soft, fat edge.’ 

From the outset, it was important to Dixon that he create a fully comprehensive range encompassing all elements of the bathroom – sanitaryware, furniture, taps, tiles, shower systems, and accessories – designed to work together or as stand-alone pieces. It was also key that the VitrA pieces would combine and contrast with Dixon’s own, existing product ecosystem.  

Chunky VitrA tap and round basin

(Image credit: VitrA)

Extending sculptural ceramics beyond the traditional realms of basins and sanitaryware, the collection includes the unusual feature of a rotund, moulded ceramic stool – for use in the shower or anywhere else in the home. ‘The stool seemed to be the kind of overlapping item – it's an iconic design but also it gives the option to sit comfortably in the bathroom.’ 

Practical and slab-like ceramic countertops and shelves are an integral part of the ‘Liquid’ language, while the soft-edged aesthetic also forms an expressive frame for an obround-shaped mirror with inbuilt lighting. Basins are Dixon’s obround-shaped interpretation of the classic butler sink or, as with the cylindrical high-bowl types, a reimagining of baptismal fonts. 

Close-up of black sculptural taps by VitrA and Tom Dixon

(Image credit: VitrA)

Countertop options are designed to rest on the collection’s ultra-practical ceramic slab, and wall-hung variants can be paired with a ceramic pedestal. A statement, monobloc basin, moulded as a single piece of ceramic, is designed for use with wall or floor-mounted taps. The toilet-roll holder – sculptural, playful, chromium – makes reference to Claes Oldenburg. 

VitrA and Tom Dixon share a vision for creating innovative and original designs that retain their appeal over the years; ‘Contemporary without being of the moment,’ states Dixon. Bucking the current trend for slender, hyper-modern and highly technical, minimal designs, Dixon chose the counterpoint. The ‘Liquid’ collection is stripped back but sturdy, curvy, strong and durable. Smooth surfaces are easy to clean, while soft, rounded edges ensure a safe bathroom environment. Taps, levers and shower faucets are operated intuitively with simple, time-honoured, mechanical controls. ‘I wanted the collection to look like a kid’s sketch of a bathroom basin or a tap,’ says Dixon, ‘displaying a clear logic and simplicity in looks and usage.’

grey bathroom

(Image credit: VitrA)

While the ceramics are offered only in white, the range combines different materials, including fluted glass and metal mesh. Taps and showers are available in chrome or for contrast, a new gloss black finish that is atypical in modern bathrooms. The range also includes distinctive wall tiles, available in five designs and with colour options of white, black, grey, sage green and ecru. The tile designs nod to ripples in the water and feature patterns inspired by the classic U-bend, embossed dots and waves that can be creatively configured. 

The products can be combined to create different styles to suit domestic and public usage – including in offices, restaurants and hotels – offering customers the opportunity to personalise the bathroom space, and to choose from products including a urinal, a bidet and a touch-free tap. 

Dixon joins designers including Ross Lovegrove, Sebastian Conran, Arik Levy, Terri Pecora and Claudio Bellini, each of whom has collaborated closely with VitrA’s in-house team to create bathrooms that reflect their own vision, style and luxury. 

vitra.co.uk/explore/liquid (opens in new tab)

VitrA loo

(Image credit: VitrA)

bathroom basin and oval mirror on textured wall, VitrA Liquid range by Tom Dixon

(Image credit: VitrA)

white round stool by VitrA and Tom Dixon

(Image credit: VitrA)

round bathroom basin and black tap, VitrA Liquid range by Tom Dixon

(Image credit: VitrA)