A good soak – elegantly designed wood tub invites a plunge


The Ofuro wooden tub from Rapsel is $28,000.

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Tribune newspapers

May 10, 2010

Taking a cue from the Japanese, who for centuries have heralded the healing powers of a good soak in a wooden tub, Italian design firm Rapsel this year launched an all-wood bathtub with the eye-popping price of $28,000.

The Ofuro tub is “more than just a bathing vessel,” said Bennett Friedman, principal at kitchen and bath retailer AF New York, which carries Rapsel’s Ofuro. “It’s for wellness, not hygiene. You get the sense of relaxation but in a device, in a sphere that is beautiful.”

Made of Siberian Larch wood harvested from trees that are 300 to 400 years old, the Ofuro tub is different from many other wooden bathtubs because it doesn’t rely on resins, glues and sealants to keep water from damaging the wood. Siberian Larch is naturally water- and decay-resistant, and the tub wears in rather than wears out, Friedman said.

Designed by celebrated Italian architect and product designer Matteo Thun, the Ofuro won this year’s Wallpaper* Design Award for best bath.


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