Located somewhere between opacity and transparency, translucent surfaces allow rays of light to partially pass through them, creating a "blurred" aspect to what is seen on the other side. This is an effect widely used in art, as in the works of the Icelandic–Danish artist Olafur Eliason, for example, who works with optical illusions through light and colorful and transparent surfaces. But it is also admired by contemporary architects, such as the Japanese office SANAA, or European offices such as Barozzi / Veiga or Lacaton & Vassal, among many others.
In buildings, when using translucent surfaces with materials such as polycarbonate or glass, elements become visually lighter and highlight interiors or even the building's structure, without intruding on inhabitants' privacy. Chairs, lamps, pots: there are several everyday objects that use translucency for aesthetics and lightness. In the bathroom, however, this is not so common. Usually made of porcelain, the traditional pieces used in this space are opaque and at times are not so flexible to allow for a designer's vision.
The Italian company antoniolupi, which specializes in home and bathroom furniture, has developed an innovative material that, thanks to its translucency, allows architects and designers to achieve new design solutions for bathrooms. Named Cristalmood, it is a pigmented translucent polyester resin that is poured into molds and finished manually. Once solidified, the resin is sanded and polished to remove imperfections and to give the object shine. The result is a material capable of creating highly sculptural, dramatic and bold spaces, that at the same time appear to be extremely light.
Using this material, the company has developed a line of bathtubs (Reflex and Borghi) and sinks (Albume, Aura, Borghi, Opale and Vitreo), which offer several tones to mix and match with the rest of the space, while staying true to the expected protagonism of bathroom furniture. Since light pierces through the objects, this allows them to be positioned in front of windows or in the middle of a space, precisely because they are no longer perceived as "bulky objects", but they instead seem to dematerialize, thanks to their transparency and lightness. In addition, another solution that gives this feeling of floating in space is the pure proportions and geometry of the pieces, balanced and with modern overlapping volumes and subtle edges. A total of 14 shades are available, and the collaboration between Andrea Lupi and Gumdesign created an additional 4 new colors: Barrique, Mostato, Notturno and Vespero.
Like natural stone, each product is unique, with minor differences in color, sizes or small bubbles that give character and authenticity to each object. The company guarantees that the end result is as resistant as stone and transparent as crystal. In fact, the products have passed anti-corrosive tests (salt spray) and can be cleaned with all of the most common detergents. Thanks to the composition, objects made of this material also weigh about 30% less than those made with solid surfaces. Through technology, handicraft and experimentation, Cristalmood can create lightness in pieces that are usually heavy - both physically and visually - in bathrooms.