Solo Performer: Duravit’s Scola washbasin is one of Blunck’s mainstays. “We’ve probably used it 50 times,” he says. Its circle-in-a-rectangle design makes it a paragon of simplicity and functionality. “It stands up to high-intensity use,” Blunck says. And because it requires no cabinet or countertop, it’s a money saver too. Specify this, he says, “and you’ve just done three operations with one projecting wall-mount sink.” Duravit, duravit.us
Screen Gem: Integral-color cement composite panels offer the tempting prospect of a durable siding material that requires virtually no maintenance throughout its life cycle. Designed specifically for rainscreen applications, SwissPearl’s panels are available in more than 30 colors. The company touts its environmentally friendly production process, noting that its panels are fully recyclable after a lifespan it estimates to be a minimum of 40 years. Blunck specs it, he says, “because the material is so precisely engineered.” SwissPearl, www.swisspearl.com
Paper Mate: PaperStone countertops are made from an environmentally friendly combination of recycled paper and petroleum-free phenolic resins. Blunck likes the material (shown here in a project by the firm) for its muted colors, unpretentious character, and durability. “It’s an all-integral material,” he says. “There’s no pattern in it to make it look like something else. It’s scratch resistant, but if it does get scratched, you can just buff it out.” PaperStone, paperstoneproducts.com
Sheer Wall: Blunck is a big fan of Polygal’s translucent polycarbonate structured sheets, which are available in a variety of colors, thicknesses, and levels of transparency. “We’ve been using them in wall dividers,” he says. “Because of the sheet size, you can have 16-foot walls with virtually no joints from floor to ceiling.” But ease of installation is just icing on the cake. The primary attraction, he says, is “the quality and variety of the light that comes through.” Polygal, polygal-northamerica.com
Watts Happening: With its articulated arm, tendonlike tension cables, and small, inquisitive head, Artemide’s Tolomeo lamp projects a kind of robotic intelligence. Blunck specifies both wall and table versions in the natural aluminum finish. “It’s fairly simple, it’s been around for 10 or 15 years, and it doesn’t look dated at all,” he reports from his firm’s conference room. “I’m looking at three of them right now.” Artemide, artemide.us
Lever Age: Designer Philippe Starck based the Axor Starck lavatory faucet on the once-ubiquitous, hand-operated water pump. “His inspiration was something that had been around for 125 years,” Blunck notes admiringly. It’s not surprising, then, that the result is simple in form, fun to use, and easy to maintain. “It’s been a staple of our work,” Blunck says. Hansgrohe USA, hansgrohe-usa.com
Flex Time: Blunck is intrigued by the architectural potential of industrial rubber sheeting. Typically used on factory floors or as raw stock for manufactured goods, the material also makes a practical and appealing residential finish. “It comes in sheet goods up to 3 inches thick,” Blunck says, “but I’ve been using it in ? inch and ¼ inch. You can stretch it from floor to ceiling, make it as taut as you want it. At ? inch, it’s translucent.” Rubber Sheet Roll, rubbersheetroll.com
See all the entries in Architects' Choice 2013.