Kohler | Strela Bathroom Ensemble

The Strela Ensemble balances proportions with fluidly organic surfaces.  With the aim to de-clutter the functional bathroom space, consumers demand bathroom products that appear clean, and through consumer research it was learned that the perception is that “if it looks clean, it is clean.” No one wants to see the toilet trap, so the goal was to design a fully skirted, water saving, dual flush toilet that resonated with contemporary design desires.

All surfaces were considered to facilitate ease of cleanliness and function was subtly realized through form decisions such as curling the front edge of the bowl downward allowing the user to raise the seat without touching the bowl.  Shallow sink surfaces were interrupted with subtle ridges to interrupt the water’s entry and minimize countertop splashing issues.

Key design elements were inspired by naturally curling paper and the way fabric assumes the form of an object it covers.

Kohler | Decorative Cast Glass Sinks

Kohler's second offering of glass lavatories focused on introducing pattern into the manufacturing process to elevate the aesthetic by further exploring light refraction and projection.  By imprinting the cast iron molds with a carved relief it transformed the vessels into conduits of light and shadow.

Kohler | Cast Glass Sinks

The humble existence of glass has persevered for nearly 7000 years.  It has endured the advent of a multitude of competitive materials, yet it still retains a sense of fascination and adoration. As a material, glass is a stage for the celebration of light, color and reflection - a dancing ground for visual perception.

By designing a new material competency at Kohler we had a fresh slate with which to approach this material in a unique light. This began as an Advanced Development (AD) effort and the task was to prepare an opportunity roadmap that would build our design and manufacturing capability as part of a 5-year strategic plan.  To assist in design and development, knowledge was gained by enrolling in an intensive glass production course at the UW-Madison to learn the inherent qualities of glass and draw out a distinct perspective that would hold the Kohler Brand.  Casting hot glass was chosen as the first manufacturing method for reasons such as design impact, ramping up manufacturing capabilities and speed to market.

Being inspired by both the view of the Atlantic Ocean from 35,000 feet and the natural chill that glass produces when it is cast against a cold surface, a design perspective was pursued that focused on the interplay of the material and the light it pulled from the ambient environment.

Kohler | Kamala Cast Bronze Vessel

Kamala's inspiration comes from ancient tribal rain drums. Rain drums are common to many cultures across Southeast Asia and are considered sacred symbols that epitomize aesthetic beauty. The basin of this lavatory is covered with a low relief pattern that begins at the vessel's edge and covers the surface with alternating bands of elevated dots, ridges, scrolls and links. Towards the center of the basin, a ring of columns direct the water's flow toward the integrally cast drain.

Kamala was a material exploration that was achieved through a partnership with a Utah based foundry to achieve the level of craftsmanship and finish in the bronze casting that was required.

Kohler | Slumped Glass Sinks

Warm glass manufacturing was brought into Kohler’s product offering as a 3rd iteration of the glass production facility.  With a crowded market in the lower price positions, a strategy to differentiate Kohler’s designs by incorporating preformed pattern into the underside of the slumped glass was pursued.

The result is a subtle, yet elegant effect that distinguishes the sinks in the marketplace by alluding to the intricate characteristics of fabric and textiles in the designs.

Kohler | Fountainhead Cast Iron Lav

Fountainhead was a full line bathroom suite that was designed in 2006.

Prior to full design approval the design team was unable to receive approval for a cast iron vessel lavatory that was scoped as an iconic element of the suite offering.

This Cast Iron vessel was designed to complete the offering and launch with the entire product line.

Kohler | Iron Tones Cast Iron Undercounter Lavs

The intent for this project was to re-introduce a series of bathroom sinks as an extension of the Iron Tones product line and evolve Kohler's overall Cast Iron portfolio by highlighting its unique material properties.  The design goal became to modernize Cast Iron and re-invent the material by keying in on its inherently beautiful characteristics of texture, form and color. As a result of ongoing grooming research, flat corners were incorporated on the edges of the sink where users could securely place a cup of water, soap dispenser or other items that would help contain the water within the work space.

Images courtesy of Kohler Company.  
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