LAUFEN’s Revolutionary SaphirKeramik Ceramic Collection Honored With Prestigious Product Innovation Award

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Judges Wowed by SaphirKeramik’s Innovative Amalgam, Strength and Design Capabilities: LAUFEN, the Swiss manufacturers and designers of contemporary ceramic bathroom products announced that they are the recipients of the 2013 Product Innovation Award, bestowed upon them by Architectural Products magazine. LAUFEN’s living square SaphirKeramik sinks and basins were awarded the PIA in the restroom/plumbing category.

From left to right: Research Director at LAUFEN, Dr. Werner Fischer, shows the new SaphirKeramik in comparison to conventional ceramic. Picture of SaphirKeramik.

“At LAUFEN, we are committed to development and technology; not just design development but also with an eye towards improving our manufacturing procedures as well,” said Javier Korneluk, US managing director of LAUFEN Bathrooms North America.

LAUFEN announced that they are the recipients of the 2013 Product Innovation Award, bestowed upon them by Architectural Products magazine. LAUFEN’s living square SaphirKeramik sinks and basins were awarded the PIA in the restroom/plumbing category. Winners were selected from almost 400 entries and judged by a group of 50 independent industry professionals. Judging was based entirely on technical information supplied to the jury.

Jim Crockett, Editorial Director, Architectural Products Magazine had this to say about the awards and what they mean, “Building on the success of last year’s program, our third edition of the awards proves commercial building manufacturers are committed to, and are working arduously toward delivering more sustainable products, as well as products that deliver better performance, life and affordability.”

LAUFEN’s revolutionary SaphirKeramik turns old material into completely new shapes: closely defined radii and edges are possible with thin walls which have until now not been seen in sanitary ceramic design. SaphirKeramik is considerably harder and has a greater flexural strength than vitreous or fireclay ceramic. LAUFEN named the material SaphirKeramik to reference the addition of the mineral corundum, which occurs in nature in different modifications as a component of sapphire. This mineral is also used in the watch industry as sapphire glass dials and its hardness is only surpassed by that of diamonds. With SaphirKeramik, the hardness of the material permits shapes which were previously not possible. Because less material is needed, manufacturing costs and energy consumption are lower, making SaphirKeramik an even more sustainable product than traditional ceramic.

“At LAUFEN, we are committed to development and technology; not just design development but also with an eye towards improving our manufacturing procedures as well,” said Javier Korneluk, US managing director of LAUFEN Bathrooms North America. “The Research Director at LAUFEN, Dr. Werner Fischer, developed SaphirKeramik together with his team and various university research institutes and he worked on the ‘recipe’ for almost a decade. It’s this level of commitment to development that drives us and keeps us on the forefront of the industry.”

Until now, ceramic design was limited to vitreous china and fine fireclay. Vitreous china excels because of its waterproof qualities but it cannot be used to manufacture large ceramic pieces. Fireclay has traditionally been used to manufacture pieces such as LAUFEN’s TAM TAM or Menhir, both large floor-standing vessels. With SaphirKeramik, the hardness of the material permits shapes which were previously not possible; ultra-thin basin walls and extremely precise edges. LAUFEN’s new Kartell by Laufen collection was designed using SaphirKeramik for all the ceramic basins.

About LAUFEN

Laufen Bathrooms AG is a Swiss company specializing in high end complete bathroom solutions. Laufen’s head offices are located just outside Basel. Established in 1892, it operates internationally manufacturing bathroom ceramics and faucets and distributes furniture, accessories for the bathroom and bathtubs. Laufen employs a workforce of 1,800 with seven factories located in Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic and produces 3 million ceramic items per year. It boasts collaborations with important partners like the design companies Kartell and Alessi and internationally well-known designers such as ps+a/Ludovica and Roberto Palomba (Palomba Collection, Kartell by Laufen), Stefano Giovannoni (ILBAGNOALESSI One), Wiel Arets (ILBAGNOALESSI dOt), Hartmut Esslinger/Frog Design, Platinum Design, Phoenix Design, Platinum Design and Process Design. For additional information contact DRS and Associates at 818.981.8210 or http://www.drsandassociates.com.

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DAVID SCHLOCKER
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