One of today’s most famous creative minds and a versatile yet serious designer. The Frenchman has designed almost everything from café chairs to toothbrushes, from stools to prefabricated houses. However, one of his greatest successes is the Axor Starck collection, with which Hansgrohe caused quite a stir in 1994 – the first faucet with a joystick-like operating handle.
Axor Starck surprised the public with images that redefined the bathroom as a “Salon d’eau”: a water room with none of the usual tiles. The designs incorporate a great deal of natural light, warm materials and a room composition that takes us “back to our origins” while effusing uncompromising modernity.
In total, Philippe Starck has designed four collections for Axor, Hansgrohe AG’s designer brand.
Axor Starck Classic and Axor Starck – the aesthetics of minimalism
Axor Starck focuses on the basics – on elementary forms. A clear function and a simple effect. There are no distractions. The result: a timeless bathroom collection that will never go out of fashion. Images are evoked of our past dealings with water. For example, the slanted spout resembles a water pump while the bathtub resembles an old-fashioned wash tub. Axor Starck bathroom faucets are available with two different handle versions: a modern pin handle or, in the classic version, a feather handle.
Axor Starck X – Maximum Minimalism
Axor Starck X embodies minimal design and maximum enjoyment. The sculptural Axor Starck X collection plays with symmetry and clear geometric shapes: a round body and a square plate create an impressive outlet for the water. The upright joystick is self-assured with straight lines making a commitment to the extraordinary.
Axor Starck ShowerCollection – personality squared
“Just mix it” is the motto of the Axor Starck ShowerCollection. The modular design can be used to transform the shower into a tailor-made spa. The simple, customizable system comprising showers and accessories provides almost endless design freedom. Of course, the Axor Starck ShowerCollection is also the perfect shower complement for the Axor Starck and Axor Starck X collections.
Philippe Starck – the biography
Born in Paris in 1949, where he also studied in the mid-1960s, Philippe Starck represents a playful, often provocative “new design”, which has broken with design traditions such as Bauhaus or even pleasant modernity. His work is driven by visual appeal rather than a technological search for optimum functionality from a new idea or product. His interior designs for prestigious hotels such as the Royalton in New York and the Sanderson in London are simply spectacular and feel inspired by movies. External staircases, billowing ceiling-high curtains and voluptuous seating make it clear that Starck sees the users of the hotels, restaurants and bars he designs as self-defined actors on a stage (of life).
His mischievous toying with baroque references shows both Starck’s roots in the playful “postmodern” era and his confident approach to the world of design, whose rituals and demands he has occasionally castigated as narcissistic. Philippe Starck’s breakthrough came with designs for the offices of former French President Mitterand and interior and furniture designs for the Parisian café Costes (now closed). He has designed household items such as the famous Alessi lemon squeezer as well as lights, motorcycles, houses, furniture (including ones made from acrylic) and entire furnishing concepts for luxury apartments. He is married to his third wife and has four children.