What happens when one of the most renowned design firms in the world for furniture and goods creates a full bathroom that reflects their unique sense of luxury? AXOR challenged London-based Barber Osgerby to accomplish just that with its “Make it yours!” campaign. As a result, “Skyline” was created as an idea for a small, luxurious bathroom in a London penthouse apartment’s corner, where space is at a premium but the sense of luxury is unaffected.
Skyline presents a highly unique vision that reinterprets beauty and wellbeing in compact spaces. It is furnished with Barber Osgerby’s own AXOR One bathroom fixtures and AXOR Universal Circular Accessories.
“The project was inspired by the move towards more compact living,” explains Jay Osgerby, one half of the acclaimed design duo. “It’s a move away from the huge, lounging, spa-style bathrooms that we’ve come to know from the top-end of the market over the last few years, into creatively addressing compact spaces, particularly in urban environments.” Imagined as a part of a London penthouse, the seven square meter bathroom, which prioritizes natural light to maximise the sense of spaciousness, features a floor-to-ceiling window as well as a large skylight above the shower. “It’s about being clever with the space,” Osgerby says, “by flooding it with light and offering views.”
Colour plays a leading role in the Skyline concept, although Barber Osgerby have departed from current trends in their thoughtful use of it. “The tendency is often—particularly at the moment—that you paint one wall in one color, you leave another wall in another color, and you have a big picture on the other wall,” Osgerby observes. “And in a compact space, it doesn’t really work.” As an alternative, the designers opted for an all-over monochrome green, created with tiles from their Primavera collection for Mutina. The tiles’ soothing tone fulfills multiple roles: “In terms of color theory, green is obviously the most calming color,” Osgerby says. “It’s a reference to nature. But at the same time, in this instance, it gives us the ability to have one palette which unifies the entire space.”
The green of the tiles allows for a striking visual contrast with the all-new Matt White surface finish of the AXOR One fixtures and AXOR Universal Circular Accessories. Both collections are now available in an array of color finishes, all curated by Barber Osgerby, but Matt White was particularly suited to the sense of serenity that Skyline aims to evoke. “With AXOR One, we’ve taken what’s really needed and made it into the most refined object we possibly can,” notes Osgerby, “and for us, the Matt White finish actually exemplifies this in terms of its purity, simplicity and calmness.” In the context of the bathroom, white has long been synonymous with hygiene and cleanliness, and the Matt White finish infuses these associations into the AXOR One fixtures.
Choice of colour is central to the individualisation mega trend that the AXOR ‘Make it yours!’ campaign explores. The choice to use the color Matt White across the bathroom, as Barber Osgerby have done with their Skyline concept, allows for a truly individualised expression, without compromise: Matt White appears not only on all fixtures, from washbasin faucet to showerpipe to thermostatic module, but on all accessories, as well, from towel hooks to shelves to mirrors and the AXOR Drain. The result is a unified aesthetic in service of the overall sense of calm the designers sought to create: “The bathroom has always been talked about as being a sanctuary,” says Osgerby. “And I don’t feel like that’s really gone. These spaces are one of the few spaces that give you sanctuary from the craziness of life.”
So, who is the lucky client Barber Osgerby had in mind with this highly personalized bathroom concept? “I think a lot of designers spend a lot of time saying how they design for the market, but we can’t really do that,” says Osgerby. “Actually, we design for ourselves. In our studio, I think we’re all unified in this. If we don’t make something or produce something we wouldn’t want to live in or use, it just doesn’t happen. We’re not a design consultancy, you see. We’re people who design things that we love.”
A harmonious space of subtle beauty, offering retreat from the bustling metropolis, the Skyline bathroom concept speaks directly to Osgerby’s personal idea of luxury. In the designer’s words, “Luxury is time, advancement, space and travel. And some of those things we can get in [Skyline]. The idea of being able to remove yourself—of having time and space to think—it’s luxury.” And how does personalization play into this idea of luxury as well-being? “If you’re able to be in a lucky position to create your own environments,” says Osgerby, “then you’re living in your own painting, you’re living in your own artwork, aren’t you? And hopefully, if you’re happy with what you’ve created, you can feel content, which naturally means that you can relax.”