Finishing Touch: Beyond Bathing

Modern translation of traditional concepts is an important element of the design world, and the Le Cob bathtub from Omvivo based in Melborne, Australia is an example of exactly this philosophy. “The Le Cob is inspired by the architect, Le Corbusier, an architect known for his modernistic practices. This bathtub is a Western answer to the Japanese ritual of bathing and allows people to enjoy the water rather than just cleanse themselves,” says Joseph Licciardi, designer.

The Le Cob was originally created in 1997, but it wasn’t until two years later and after many inquiries that Omvivo made it as a production piece. “Since its introduction as a production piece, we’ve sold approximately 60 pieces around the world including villas in the French Riviera, apartments in Canada, 1940s spaces, resorts in Queensland and much more,” Licciardi adds.

The seat is made of Corian and the sides are made of glass. Corian is used in the seat because it can be thermal-formed and is comfortable to sit on. “It features two sides of ¾-in. thick tempered glass and ¾-in. thick Corian for the seat. It includes a length of 7 ft., height of 2 ft. and width of 2 ft. and can withstand the weight of a 330-lb. person,” Licciardi says.

This tub can be viewed as a green product because it uses water only where it is needed. “The Le Cob uses a third of water compared to other tubs where the rest of the water is wasted,” he says. “When you look at the Le Cob side-on, you’ll notice that the area is filled only above the Corian line. There is no water under the person’s legs or back, unlike most other bathtubs.”

The water then overflows into pebbles that hide a tray for the water. “The water is up to your shoulders and the sound of it overflowing into rocks creates an image and feeling of being in a creek,” Licciardi says.

Design/builders are offered only one design of the Le Cob. “We could make it longer or wider but there is a limit to using Corian. Integrity in the long term is a concern; we want to create a product that will last,” Licciardi says. “You can use any color from a predetermined color palette, but the cost of using other colors is extremely high because we are using Corian. Plus it’s in its purest form when in white.”

For design/builders planning on installing the Le Cob in a home, Omvivo recommends it be installed in a space that will welcome it. “It’s not a shape or piece that you would use against a wall or in a limited space. It doesn’t need to be a huge area, but it does need to be waterproof because when the water overspills, it splashes a little,” he adds. “There isn’t a lot of splashing because the water is falling from a limited height and the water is mostly contained, but you don’t want to put this tub where people are worried about water.”

Licciardi encourages anyone interested in the Le Cob to contact Omvivo to ensure the best installation. “It’s rewarding to work with architects and builders because we want a client to enjoy the tub properly.”

The Le Cob can be purchased through outlets in San Francisco, Pasadena, Calif., Dallas and Chicago. For more information visit or indicate #205 on e-Inquiry.