Reinventing the Wheel?

Reinvention – some would say there’s no need, while others would say it’s how things develop by refining what already exists.


The bathroom basin

On this ancient Greek urn we see that a type of washing basin was already in existence in Ancient Greece as it shows a woman washing at a ‘louterion’ (water basin) and dates from 450 – 425 BC.




Move on many centuries to find the English bringing large bowls and jugs of water to the bedroom to use for the same ablutions. The basic principle is the same. A bowl shaped receptacle is a good shape to use for washing the body. This is only bettered by one big enough to sit in – otherwise now known as a bath!


Contemporary basins

So the basic shape of a wash basin is bowl-shaped. But now there are more materials available to mould or carve into shapes, there are a greater variety of designs available to us.


There are still many original bowl shaped creations made in all kinds of materials from glass to wood, metal or stone. New modern composite materials mean that basins are available in many other shapes too.


Flouting the norm

Of course many of us striving to be different from everyone else and look for out-of-the-ordinary shapes or materials.


This has meant the development of wall-hung basins and pedestal basins which stray a long way from the traditional designs. People’s need to shock or be quirky with their contemporary bathroom design, means some will adore the idea of a self supporting tulip-shaped basin or a tea-cup shaped one.


Upping the design ante?

A recent interesting basin design from Germany took the shape of an ammonite and aligned itself with many other forms in nature that take on the Fibonacci spiral. Is it practical we wonder?


Basin shapes inspired by swans and even a sliced egg are also available.


Last of all, what about a sink made from recycled rubber tyre? Don’t worry, it’s melted down and cleaned before being processed into a flat smooth sheet. This is stretched over a frame and held in place with a drain collar. The resulting shallow dipped effect is your sink.



So should the wheel, or in this case the basin, be reinvented? We guess it depends how much you hanker after different, or what your functional needs are.


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