Organic forms and nature for contemporary washbasins
Whether he was designing a public building, private home or everyday objects, Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake applied his distinctive vision that embraced nature, organic forms, bold lines and pushing materials to their maximum potential. Born in São Paulo in 1938 to creative parents, his mother, Tomie Ohtake, was one of Brazil’s leading modernist painters, Ruy Ohtake seemed from the beginning to instinctively understand the importance of good design, making beautiful objects and environments that work in harmony with the user and bring joy.
He began his architecture and design practice in São Paulo the 1960s, a flourishing moment in Brazilian arts and culture, and would go on to design over 400 built projects, most of them in Brazil, but not exclusively.
Ohtake’s passion for design led him to numerous collaborations in the product design world as well, including the 2018 collaboration with Roca, in which he designed four ceramic basins. “I’m interested in creating shapes that surprise people, that are bold,” Ohtake once stated. This is certainly the case in the Ohtake Collection, in which he applied his magic in mixing organic forms within an overarching architectural vision. His love of craftsmanship and bettering everyday life resonated with Roca’s vision as well, allowing for a fruitful partnership.
(Pictured: Ohtake in countertop basin in matt white, Ona built-in basin mixer in titanium black)
For Roca, he designed four unique ceramic washbasins, three of which used Fineceramic® technology, a Roca-designed compact ceramic that allows for thinner and lighter forms; Some of these products have been launched while others will be available in 2023. Included in the collection are two curvilinear, over the counter washbasins, both of which are signature pieces in the collection, another over countertop basin that doesn’t use Fineceramic®, but which plays on the traditional square basin format, using his signature organic, twisting shapes in the sink, and an in countertop basin that transforms a typical integrated washbasin into one flowing form.
(Pictured: Ohtake over countertop basin in matt black with Ona basin mixer, XL-Size in matt black)
The potential of Fineceramic® technology allowed Ohtake to go further with his designs, and its unique qualities were well suited to adapt to the designer’s curvilinear form that recalls undulating waves, but was inspired more deeply by the beauty of the shape of an egg, one of nature’s most perfected forms. “The egg is something of an exceptional quality, with its high rigidity even with such a thin skin!” Ohtake stated. In fact, Ohtake saw a parallel between the thin yet sturdy shell of an egg and thin, yet strong skin of Fineceramic® material. A perfect union.
(Pictured: Ohtake over countertop basin in glossy white, Ona built-in basin mixer in matt black)
The collection is available in seven colours including the new matt black finish, as well as the warm, coffee finish and the soft beige. Pair this with a faucet of the same tones and finish for an elegant combination. These Ohtake Collection colours and finishes are designed to integrate with countertops of various styles, be it a simple, concrete or stone counter with a more rough and minimal design, or it can fit with a traditional, white ceramic counter or piece of bathroom furniture, such as the Ona Collection.
(Pictured: Ohtake over countertop basin in matt white with Ona basin mixer, S-Size in matt black)
From the beginning of his career, Ohtake was interested in this mix of sculptural forms and organic shapes, but often in industrial materials, such as concrete, which was having its moment in the design world of the 1960s-70s. His tropical-industrial style perfectly encapsulated the contrast of living in a modern world yet wanting to embrace his country’s lush landscapes and unparalleled natural beauty. The Ohtake Collection underlines this balance between nature and urban living. Ohtake understood the importance of the quiet rituals of everyday life, the sanctuary of the bathroom and the importance of having that be a special moment in the day, whether you live in a big city or a quiet rural retreat.
His work sparked the senses, whether through form, such as the surprising and unexpected movement of a curve, or through material. In the Ohtake washbasin Collection, he achieves this experience with both.