Interview: VitrA’s Erdem Akan on creating a number one toilet portfolio

VitrA’s design director Erdem Akan is chargeable for creating one of many world’s main portfolios of loo merchandise – Amelia Thorpe talks to the person behind the model’s distinctive aesthetic and trendy identification.

There may be little doubt that Erdem Akan has completed a lot to shake up VitrA’s product portfolio since he joined the model as design director eight years in the past. He has launched authentic collections produced with main lights Arik Levy, Claudio Bellini and Terri Pecora – and most lately, Liquid, an attention-grabbing and award-winning full toilet vary by British design supremo, Tom Dixon. “Once I arrived, I realised that the portfolio was just a little bit dusty,” he says. “It was an enormous assortment with good merchandise and aggressive costs, however I used to be tremendous conscious that it couldn’t keep like that for the following 10 years.”

From the new Liquid collection, designed by Tom Dixon for VitrA

Main toilet producer VitrA is a part of one in every of Turkey’s most distinguished industrial teams, Eczacibaşi, with 12 manufacturing amenities in Turkey, Germany, France and Russia. Based mostly in Istanbul, Akan set about re-engineering the portfolio to create a definite VitrA identification. “Simply as we take into consideration how we are able to mix the garments in our wardrobe, I started to develop this sort of strategy for our merchandise – how we are able to combine and match them collectively in order that the mix potential is 10 instances larger,” he explains. Every time he was requested to introduce new designs, he would apply what he calls his “hidden agenda”, contemplating how each new product could possibly be efficiently mixed with current collections. 

VitrA’s showroom in London’s Clerkenwell, opened in 2021

“Originally, it was tough – I felt as if I used to be steering an enormous ship, turning the wheel with all my energy, however the panorama wasn’t altering,” he continues. “However lastly, about 4 years later, I realised that the panorama was beginning to alter – and that has continued to offer me motivation.”

The portfolio is break up into its mid-level Rest room assortment and its mid-high Designer assortment. “I attempt to give attention to our clients and finish customers and the way we are able to make a system that permits architects to cherry decide from our collections to create their very own environment of their designs – by to a buyer who would possibly solely purchase a rest room as soon as in each eight or 10 years, has zero data and desires to be impressed by a whole set,” explains Akan. 

Inside VitrA’s new showroom in Clerkenwell, featuring the Plural collection designed by Terri Pecora, left, and Voyage collection by Arik Levy

The VitrA identification is clearly trendy (“even when we’re making a traditional washbasin, it should have a contemporary contact,” he says), with a glance that Akan describes as sitting between rational and pure. “Our merchandise need to work and performance very nicely, and, however, by their particulars, colors and so forth convey a pure environment to the toilet, as a result of nature is an enormous inspiration for us,” he says. He cites the basin from Claudio Bellini’s Equal vary for instance. “The skin is a geometrical form, however inside, the place the liquid flows, is softer and natural.”

Most lately, VitrA has launched Root, a variety of loo furnishings with flat, grooved and modern-Shaker fronts, accessible in a large selection of sizes, color and wooden unit mixtures and deal with types, along with Root Spherical and Root Sq. brassware (in 5 colors) and three basins. “Your selection of choices permits you to customise your toilet with minimal effort,” he says. 

From VitrA’s new Root collection, Flat furniture in Natural Oak

Akan says we are able to count on a brand new washbasin line – in several projections and sizes – plus a plywood toilet furnishings assortment, each launching at ISH 2023. He additionally means that the development in the direction of pure influences in toilet design, from vegetation to a nature-inspired color palette – will proceed, as will the transfer in the direction of touchless merchandise. “We’re continuously refining our vary and giving extra choices and mixtures,” he says.

New Root collection Groove furniture

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