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?!
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.]
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:
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.
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.
Most of VOLA’s faucets and accessories can be purchased in any one of 19 colors including:
VOLA in Ben Sanders’ bathroom design
Mega 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!
Other designs from VOLA:
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:
- VOLA’s complete line of sleek and colorful bathroom and kitchen plumbing and hardware on their website
- Want more color in your bathroom? You can order Vola products through their U.S. distributor, Hastings Tile & Bath, which also a page listing their dealers across the U.S.