VOLA bath and kitchen faucets — designed by Arne Jacobsen in the 1960s — still available in 19 colorful finishes

vintage vola faucets

Photo courtesy VOLA.

An impressive lineup of VOLA bathroom and kitchen sink faucets designed in the 1960s by Arne Jacobsen — still available today in a rainbow of colors, with lots of coordinating hardware — oh my!  We are late to this party, which we learned about thanks to Ben Sander’s 1970s apartment bathroom design. Pam had me contact VOLA for more info and for as many photos — “make it epic” — as we could get our greedy retro hands on. Arne Jacobsen-designed Danish modern bathroom and kitchen faucets and hardware in 19 colors! It’s all pretty darned amazing! Feast yer eyes — who’s got a bathroom and/or kitchen in need of these 1960s beauties?!

Arne Jacobsen

Arne Jacobsen. Photo courtesy VOLA.

The first Arne Jacobsen-design for VOLA: The KV1 bathroom sink faucet

Beginning around 1968, when VOLA’s owner, Verner Overgaard, took his idea for a new design of wall-mounted water mixer to famed architect Arne Jacobsen. Both VOLA and Jacobsen were based in Denmark. To this day, Jacobsen’s name is celebrated in the country. He was first and foremost an architect, but he also designed a large variety of other products: furniture, lighting — and yes, faucets!

VOLA has a lot of faucets and other parts in its portfolio today, so we asked the company’s U.S. distributor for clarification on Arne Jacobsen’s role in the complete line.

Bob Gifford, Director of Bath Products at Hastings, replied:

He designed all original VOLA, the KV1 was actually first. 111, 121 and HV1 came after along with the accessories. The original Vola design is the one-handle design and proportion, and that is the one set by Arne.

It was not until the introduction of new items in the 2000’s that other designers were used. All of VOLA’s products are a direct result of the original design and aesthetic, and VOLA honors Arne’s vision and attention to detail in every product.

Got that?: If you want the historic designs created specifically by Jacobsen, go for the 111 and the 121 kitchen faucets and the KV1 and the HV1 bathroom sink faucets. [Re the hotlinks to these products on the VOLA website: There may be other sizes available; if you are in the market/shopping, to to the higher level pages to shop all the sizes.]

Photo courtesy of VOLA.

National Bank of Denmark. Photo courtesy of VOLA.

The faucets were to be used in a building that Jacobsen was designing at the time — the National Bank of Denmark. Jacobsen wanted to have total control of every aspect of all of his projects, leaving nothing to chance, even the smallest details of his buildings. This need for complete control lead to Jacobsen designing items such as furniture — including his famous Egg and Swan chairs, textiles, lighting fixtures, door handles, cutlery, glassware, clocks, and yes — even the water taps.

From the Vola website:

Verner

VOLA A/S Verner Overgaard. Photo courtesy of VOLA.

The first VOLA mixers were designed for the National Bank of Denmark. The collaboration between Arne Jacobsen and VOLA A/S started when the owner of VOLA A/S, Verner Overgaard contacted Arne Jacobsen and introduced his proposal for a new type of wall-mounted mixer. He imagined a design where all the mechanical parts of the mixer are hidden leaving only the spout and handle seen by the user. At this time this was a completely new concept, but Jacobsen realized that this idea combined with his functionalistic approach to design could be developed. With that basic principle in mind, the simple and concise VOLA design we know today was conceived.

By 1974, VOLA had already been selected for the design collection of MOMA in New York and has since gone on to win many design awards world wide. VOLA can also be found in many prestigious buildings such as the new German Reichstag in Berlin, the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and various art museums and luxurious hotels throughout the world.

Colorful faucet

Individuality a core value
During the 1960s, Arne Jacobsen strived to ‘clean-up’ the aesthetic chaos found in most bathrooms of the day caused by the various functional fittings and devices. At the time the bath room was a functional room so in a way Arne Jacobsen introduced design to the bathroom area. He considered designing a modular system that would include all the parts necessary to cover all bathroom requirements. Over the years this system has been developed to enable the designer to create individual and unique combinations using handles, spouts, cover plates and accessories, greatly increasing the benefits in using VOLA. Further benefits include water saving aerators and flow restrictors which have become just as important today as looks and usability.

You can read more about Arne Jacobsen and the history of Vola on their website.

19 Rainbow-tacular VOLA Colors / Finishescolorful faucets

Most of VOLA’s faucets and accessories can be purchased in any one of 19 colors including:

Colorful faucet

Light GreyColorful faucet

Light BlueColorful faucet

OrangeColorful faucet

Light GreenColorful faucet

YellowColorful faucet

Dark GreyColorful faucet

Mocha
Colorful faucet

Bright RedColorful faucet

Dark BlueVOLA-HV1-CUT-OUT

Chrome
Colorful faucet

Gloss blackColorful faucet

WhiteColorful faucet

Natural BrassVOLA-HV1-C20

Brushed ChromeColorful faucet

Carmine RedColorful faucet

PinkColorful faucet

Matte Blackstainless-steel-vola

Stainless Steel
VOLA-BATH-COPPER6

and Copper.

VOLA in Ben Sanders’ bathroom design

retro bathroomMega thanks to Ben Sander for pointing us to VOLA’s bold and beautiful faucets and accessories. They look look just ravishing in his red, black and white 1970s style bathroom, complementing the blast-furnace-red World of Tile ceramic floor tiles. We asked Ben if he could send a few more close up shots of these fantastic fixtures, and he was quick to respond. Thanks, Ben!

retro bathroomColorful faucet

Colorful faucet Colorful faucet red towel bar red toilet paper holder

Other designs from VOLA:

Colorful faucet

The first Jacobsen design for VOLA: The KV1 bathroom faucet.

Today, VOLA has an array of similar designs for bathroom and kitchen faucets, shower fittings, hardware —  heated towel warmers! — color-coordinated sinks, and much more.

Dig into these links to see more:

Who else is in love with the VOLAs and
now *neeeds* another house to use them in?

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Comments

  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    Oh, my! I want one in every color, and I have only two bathrooms. Yes, must buy a few more houses to renovate. 🙂 I love that the stopper matches the faucet, leaving a little dollop of color in the white sink.

    • Robin, NV says

      I agree! I need to buy a second house so I can make all my 1970s interior decorating fantasies come true – Casa de Torquemada kitchen, Colonial living room and dining room, and a bathroom with wild wallpaper and a lime green VOLA faucet.

  2. Brooke says

    All the colours are awesome! I wonder how much they are. If you’re looking for something that’s probably a bit more budget friendly Ikea’s DALSKÄR bathroom faucet comes in chrome or white and looks very similar for $70

    • Zoe says

      They are QUITE pricey.

      I’m sure the VOLA’s quality is better than the IKEA faucet, but if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money!

    • Zoe says

      The VOLA faucets are quite pricey!

      The IKEA does look similar — does anyone have any experience with the IKEA faucet quality?

  3. Jay says

    Interesting story, I didn’t realize he was an architect as well. Brings to mind another architect, FLW, who insisted on total control of his projects. These faucets are sharp looking and the finish / color range quite extensive. I suppose I’ll have to buy a pied-a-terre in a swanky apartment building with several baths, alas they are no match for my very modest ranch house. Nice post!

    • pam kueber says

      Thank you, Jay. Kate did an excellent — epic — job on this, and the communications contact at VOLA was EXCELLENT!

  4. says

    These plumbing fixtures were just perfect for this job. I first saw them in an iconic Fire Island home referred to as Lincoln Center, built in 1977, the interior of which is all white. The faucets in all the bathrooms are the HV1s in bright colors.

  5. Joe Felice says

    1960????? They look like they were just designed! I guess we really are all going retro. I love these, but imagine they are too pricey for this old man.

  6. says

    Wow, that black, white and red bathroom is just… I’m speechless. The red hardware (and even the tile) is so unusual and striking, I just love it.

  7. Sheila says

    My bathroom faucets are a knock-off version similar to these. How nice it would be to have the real thing! Thanks for this feature.

  8. lynda says

    I bought the faucet in the black and white photo of the man holding a faucet. I bought it from Kroin in Boston through an architect neighbor around 1985 or so. I bought it in white with a matching sink for a second sink in our kitchen. I think I spent over $300 for the faucet, but I did love it and still do. However, after not too long, the sink, a steel with white porcelain, chipped, the faucet looked a little scratched and then, without warning one day the handle flew off and hit a wall and water went everywhere. We turned off the water, but could not figure out how to fix it. I called the company and they did not offer to fix it, provide a part, or even give me a discount for a new one. Anyway, I took out the sink and the faucet and replaced the sink with a white cast iron sink by Kohler and a new Kohler faucet as well. Kohler always provides lifetime parts, and advice about how to fix a faucet if it is not working. I hope the company has better customer support now. Of course this was in the days before internet. Now someone probably has a You Tube video about how to fix the faucet!

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Lynda, despite my desire for all of these faucets, former handyman DH won’t buy any faucets that are not made in the US or Canada by a company who supplies replacement parts. He can figure out how to fix almost anything, but some of his former customers had fancy and expensive European faucets for which parts are not available in the US, so even though he knew how to fix them, they had to buy a whole new faucet for him to install. I’m sure it would be easier to find if we lived in Scandanavia.

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