This is one fancy sink.
Truthfully, the KWC Waterstation is more a multifunctional food prep station than a simple sink. It has wedge-shaped cutting boards, bowls and drainage pans that rotate around an industrial-strength faucet. So you can wash fruit, defrost meat and chop then throw out veggies all in the same place.
It’s truly the home chef’s dream sink. Unfortunately for most amateur chefs, it will have to stay that way. The sink, which comes with a massive $15,000 price tag, is nearly impossible to find in the United States.
Photos of the unique sink recently surfaced on Gizmodo, which noticed the sink on social window-shopping site Fancy. But the product has been online for some time. Buzz spiked when Tim Odom, the principal of Atlanta design firm Kitchen + Bath Artisans, posted a design project featuring the sink on Williams-Sonoma's inspiration site, Cultivate. (Click here or on a photo to see more kitchen pictures from that luxe South Carolina lake house -- and more manufacturer pictures of that sink -- in our slideshow.)
Odom wrote that he had to track the sink down in Sweden in order to install it for his clients. He claimed, in a 2012 article in Cultivate, he had found the last one manufactured by kitchen faucet company KWC.
KWC started selling the innovative sink in 2005, but discontinued it in 2010 when the company decided to break out of the sink business and focus solely on faucets, said Brian Hinson, product services manager for KWC Faucets.
KWC was the only company in the U.S. that sold the Waterstation, so when they stopped selling it, the product all but disappeared from the country.
However, thanks to some sleuthing of our own, Yahoo! Homes has found the sink available overseas. Manufactured by Rieber GmbH & Co. KG in Germany, the sink is still available in many different forms throughout Europe.
The sink, about the size of a large bus tire, is sold as a freestanding island unit or can be built into a countertop or an island—which would require some kind of custom installation on top of the hefty price.
The Waterstation comes with a variety of different accessories, such as the cutting boards and bowls, which slide along tracks inside the sink. Some models also offer storage space under the sink. The goose-neck faucet, which blasts away leftover food, is sold separately from the rest of the sink.
Reps from Rieber didn’t return any requests for more information on their product, including its current price and whether it can be shipped to the U.S.
Despite its popularity on online, the sink hasn’t proven very popular among people who can actually afford to purchase it.
“It is a very cool sink, but definitely a niche product,” Hinson said. “We rarely get requests for this sink anymore.” (Click here or on a photo to see many more pictures.)
[Side note: The big green "Add to Cart" button on the sink's Fancy listing would seem to imply that you can buy the sink from your mobile phone or the Fancy website with a credit card. A customer service rep assured us in a live chat that you can indeed buy anything that has the button. (The same button adorns a $3.5-million-plus-$245,000-in-shipping Agusta 119 helicopter.) When we asked how users can know the transaction is safe, the rep replied: "Our transactions are very safe." When we sought an answer more concrete than the rep's comforting words -- we asked, "What kinds of security measures are in place?" -- the rep gave us a boilerplate "I cannot answer that question at this time" and offered to have customer service get back to us. Instead, we phoned customer service ourselves to ask again about the sink; we got similar answers, along with a concession that it's quite possible the sink is no longer available. We're trying to get further info, and we'll update this post if we get it. Meanwhile, consider us skeptical.]