New brand experience: the tangible sensuality of material


Interior Architecture


Snøhetta was commissioned to redesign the LAUFEN Forum in Laufen, Switzerland. Both Snøhetta and the Swiss bathroom brand LAUFEN share a common commitment to resource-saving and long-lasting solutions in architecture and design.

Clay and brass, essential materials for ceramics and fittings, prominently feature in the entrance area of the new LAUFEN Forum. A wall and reception desk made of rammed earth and flanked by an imposing brass wall provide a sensory experience upon entering. 

Technical details

Retail, Exhibition
Laufen, Switzerland


1.000 m2

Photos by Pierre Kellenberger, © LAUFEN

It was important to us that the core of the LAUFEN brand was the focus in the newly designed LAUFEN Forum. The essence of LAUFEN is represented by the tension between materiality, design and technical perfection

Patrick Lüth Partner and Managing Director Snøhetta Studio Innsbruck

Matter, interpreted as both material and meaningful significance, is central to the LAUFEN brand experience, elegantly embodied in the various spaces of the LAUFEN Forum. Visitors are welcomed in the Greeting Space, where the defining materials of clay and brass highlight the basis of the brand. Progressing into the Matter Space, an event and discussion venue, they encounter a refined expression of Matter as both physical substance and thematic focus, enriching the experience within the Forum.

A light terrazzo floor, colour-coordinated with the exposed concrete of the curved, two-storey building, provides a neutral backdrop for curated product displays designed with natural clay plasters and paints. In these niches, visitors can experience the tactile qualities of LAUFEN's bathroom products, from washbasins and toilets to matching furniture, faucets, bathtubs, shower trays and accessories. Each bathroom collection is presented with signature colours.

The product display on the upper floor is a little more playful: a wealth of LAUFEN products can be found on industrial shelves. Visitors can arrange and combine products from various collections on movable racks, allowing for interactive exploration and testing of product combinations. This hands-on exhibition provides new opportunities to understand and experience the bathroom living space. The bright terrazzo and exposed concrete create an industrial yet welcoming ambiance for this setting. A digital space complements the analogue brand world, allowing visitors to digitally explore and immerse themselves in the LAUFEN universe.

To truly connect with cultural life and remain relevant, a brand must go beyond traditional communication. LAUFEN’s expertise in ceramics and fittings is constantly evolving through collaborations with architects and designers.

Roger Furrer LAUFEN Brand Director

Brand presentation at Salone del Mobile

This new brand experience extends beyond the Forum, influencing the LAUFEN space Vienna and the exhibition stand presented at Salone del Mobile 2024. The brand presentation "Matter" for LAUFEN at the Salone del Mobile in Milan allowed visitors to experience the LAUFEN brand, and its products, in new and unique ways. The tactile allure of clay and brass, embodying the essence of the raw materials of ceramic and metallic fittings, starkly contrasted with the innovative sophistication of LAUFEN’s high-tech manufacturing and design ethos. A large atrium welcomed visitors with further references to raw materials including clay and water - key to LAUFEN's alchemy – offering a retreat where visitors could briefly rest and gather initial impressions of the LAUFEN world away from the bustling activity of the fair.

The seating was arranged in a concentric layout, a mimetic design inspired by the pattern droplets create as they fall on the surface of water. At the centre of the atrium, selected products were artistically displayed on a stage as if they were large sculptures, evoking a connection between design, architecture, and art. The world of nature and materiality evoked by the installation strikingly contrast with an industrial backdrop, as large shelves display.

Product niches crafted in clay and natural hues add warmth and authenticity, showcasing a variety of products and accessories while inviting a tactile engagement for visitors. Distinctive signature colours have also been assigned to each bathroom collection, instantly revealing their unique character.

In a commitment to sustainability, the fair booth was designed with a circular approach, ensuring as many materials as possible are reused within Milan or designated for subsequent applications.