Throughout the years, bathrooms have been viewed as purely functional spaces strictly programmed for hygiene and privacy. Becoming smaller and more practical, the utilitarian, space-saving shower stall has often been considered the norm, pushing the bathtub into obsolescence or as an additional luxury for those with extra space (and money). Recently, however, as lifestyle changes driven by the pandemic have placed wellness as a top priority, the notion of the bathroom as a sanctuary has really taken hold. Contemporary bathrooms have thus been reimagined, shifting towards open spaces of relaxation, comfort and recuperation. And tubs – with their inherent meditative nature – have returned to the spotlight.
Nowadays, it is possible to find bathtubs of any shape, size or style, as well as with new technologies like integrated LED lights or automatic water temperature settings. But regardless of the various typologies, modern freestanding tubs that prioritize the integrity of materials and aesthetics are more in trend than ever. With that in mind, Italian company antoniolupi, renowned for its home and bathroom furnishing projects, has developed a series of contemporary bathtubs that meet these new demands. One of them particularly stands out because of its unique sculptural shape and symbolic origin.
A place in which to continue ancient customs, the Ofuro model designed by Carlo Colombo is a built-in or freestanding tub that arises from the contemporary reshaping of a 1970s project. The basin identifies the ancient ritual of the Japanese bath that originally took place in large and deep wooden tubs. Users would traditionally wash their entire body out of the tub and then immerse in it for total tranquility in boiling water. Looking to enable a similar purification ritual and placing hygiene and body care as a primary concern, Ofuro is able to provide this total relaxation and peace.
A large, sculpture-like plastic form that seems to have been made from a single block, the bathtub allows for total immersion. Straight lines and sharp edges, as well as soft shapes and curved surfaces, coexist in harmony and make for an ideal corner placement. The lowered edge invites users to enter, both in the freestanding version and when it is recessed into the floor, appearing as a bucket of natural water. Furthermore, the tub has a variable thickness edge, which is wider in some parts to potentially support objects and body care products and thinner in others to lighten the imposing volume. Integrating digital improvements, it can also be equipped with LED light incorporated at the base, adding a feeling of lightness and suspension.
Ofuro comes in an smooth white Satin finish and is made of Flumood, an innovative composite material made from aluminum hydroxide and synthetic resins with low styrene content. It is ecological, compact, non-porous, uniform, non-toxic and easy to clean, as well as being stain and abrasion resistant. Therefore, apart from its visual qualities, the bathtub is durable and sustainably sourced.
In a context where modern bathrooms are no longer viewed as solely functional spaces, but rather an escape from the high-stimulation of urban living, it is crucial to continue to discover new ways to promote human health and well-being. Combining design and innovation, Ofuro aims to embody a sleek, clean-line aesthetic while fulfilling this contemporary vision of comfort and wellness.