Dornbracht’s Supernova: the Bathroom at the Center of Your Imagination

Last May, my review of Dornbracht’s 1992 offering,Tara—a collection of vertically oriented taps and mixers that presents a clean, streamlined aesthetic—showed us that slim is good, that a simple, minimistically-designed and highly-functional faucet can become iconic within the space of 17 short years. With the Supernova line, manufacturer Dornbracht is attempting something of a reprise, though the new collection of course sports a brand new aesthetic.

Supernova. Designer by Sieger for Dornbracht.

By placing all the fixtures in the center of the room, and thus establishing the “island” motif, Dornbracht and Sieger Design have created “a form of architecture which becomes a solitary unit in itself.” This new creature—the “island” bathroom—establishes the sense of spacious luxury at the nexus of the Supernova aesthetic. And this aesthetic is both innovative and pervasive, since the futuristic angular “shower wall” that emerges from the center of the room, very like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, is patterned in turn (and precise miniaturized replica) by the basin and tub mixers, while the whole ensemble (the series includes proximal shower seating as well as tub-side shelves or counter-space) mirrors the hard angles and precise lines of the central architectural element.

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As Dornbracht puts it, “the result is an island in the room which places all of the functions and zones of the bathroom right at the very centre… upon closer inspection of the exposed design, it becomes clear that the high-gloss surfaces of the fittings constantly reflect the island’s individual laguna-like water zones.” The unified nature of shower, tub, and mixers indeed establishes this motif of reflection, a theme that’s also suggested in, as Dornbracht says, the way the fixtures’ finish (available in chrome, champagne, or platinum) reflects the water back upon itself. In sum, Supernova is very like the name might suggest, “an extremely luminous burst of colorful radiation, occurring about once every 50 years.” Let’s hope this bathroom collection, like the earlier Tara, shines on for many years to come.

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