The challenge: develop a faucet that boasts advanced health and safety while providing luxury-class bathroom décor. Industrial designer Fraser Leid thought it was possible — but he’d have to start by breaking all the rules of faucet design. Audi Grohe’s Hudōr Faucet (from the Greek word for water) is his elegant and incidentally, less labour-intensive response — a hand carwash, essentially.
The designer took a revolutionary (read: does everything for you) approach to the problem of hand-washing: The user simply inserts her/his hands into the ring, and the faucet gently sprays water from multiple jets, followed by liquid soap, then water again, resulting in a thorough cleansing and rinse.
Of course, touch-free faucets exist today: most of them pedestrian in appearance, capable of dispensing only water, and typically located in large public installations such as airports, schools and industrial kitchens. Besides being more attractive, the Hudōr is also more effective. In addition to dispensing both water and soap, an attractive UV light is directed onto the hands, killing any lurking bacteria. What are going to do with all those laminated hand-washing instructions hanging in bathrooms everywhere? No need for those anymore…
With the exception of the simple temperature knob in the base, which can be left at the preferred setting through repeated uses, the faucet is completely touch-free. It senses when a hand is present and turns itself off after the cycle completes or as soon as hands are removed.
The Hudōr design draws obvious influence from Audi (note the logo and ring shape) but Leid borrowed even more from the high-tech automobile manufacturer. Materials including carbon composite and tempered glass give the Hudōr a sleek, modern look while ensuring durability. Says Leid, “I attempted to create a piece that changes the perception of hand sanitization entirely.”
Leid found inspiration for the jet arrangement from the spokes and negative space of the Audi wheelform. Even the automotive manufacturer’s steering wheel and dashboard backlight influenced his choices of form and colour.
The Hudōr Faucet would be at home in any upscale bathroom, whether in your own ensuite or in a hotel or B&B. Although the Hudōr isn’t yet for sale in Canada, European manufacturer Grohe has a history of bringing cutting-edge fixtures to market here, so this or other innovative products are likely to reach a homewares store near you soon.