AGAPE 2023 COLLECTION: 50 YEARS AS A THOUGHTFUL DESIGN LABORATORY
Published by Sugar & Cream, Wednesday 28 June 2023
Images courtesy of Agape
Patricia Urquiola, Benedini Associati, LucidiPevere, García Cumini, Gwenael Nicolas and More
Agape: 50 YEARS AS A THOUGHTFUL DESIGN LABORATORY
Evolution and innovation in the world of wellness and bathroom design: Agape, founded in 1973, celebrated 50 years of design together with Patricia Urquiola, Benedini Associati, LucidiPevere, García Cumini, Gwenael Nicolas and many other international designers who have been part of the company over its half-century of history.
Presented by Interni Cipta Selaras
Agape celebrates its 50th anniversary by continuing to explore the elements that constitute good bathroom design. The company, founded in 1973 by the Benedini family, has never stopped viewing the bathroom as an architectural space and diving deep into its key concepts. It is a thoughtful design laboratory. For half a century, it has held to consistent ideals and practiced constant refinement, reworking designs and inventing new ones, sometimes changing only a minor detail after exploring new materials and finishes. These patient and almost obsessive improvements are the foundation of an experience that results in iconic and timeless objects, each the result of the design culture that is the soul of Agape’s identity.
The shape of color. Undici Inox freestanding, by Benedini Associati
The washbasin series Undici Inox becomes even more versatile, with the new freestanding version underlining its bold geometries. The pure, simple form of the stainless steel or brushed brass basin is delicately fitted to the painted metal column. The detail of the floor attachment also stands out as an elegant element with its apparent simplicity. “Undici Inox enhances the bathroom with its purity, while also offering greater freedom of movement than the traditional washbasin,” observes Giampaolo Benedini. This new washbasin’s design explores the color that balances the rigor of the form with an extensive palette. The collar, column, and outer surface of the basin are painted in the same shade, a subtle contrast to the stainless steel or brushed brass finish of the interior and upper outer edge of the basin.
Undici Inox freestanding, by Benedini Associati
The composition of matter. Cenote a Colonna, by Patricia Urquiola
The Cenote series of washbasins continues exploring the expressive power of clay with this new freestanding model. The circular basin creates a textural and architectural continuum with the linear, column-style base. Both elements are made of natural or dark refractory clay molded by hand at the potter’s wheel, with unpredictable surface variations that bring a unique touch and a sense of ancestral presence to the bathroom environment. Deeply attuned to Agape’s vision, Urquiola’s design reveals a deeply human element, a synthesis of thought and skilled craftsmanship that generates a living and timeless beauty. “The freestanding version completes the family, offering the possibility to place the basin in the middle of the room. It has a sculptural effect that highlights its personality and elegance. Fundamental here, as in the entire series, is the artisanal component, which, together with its essential architectural composition, emphasizes the sensory vibrations of refractory clay,” explains Patricia Urquiola The outer surface is deliberately left rough, while the glazed and polished interior of the basin reveals an interplay of contrasts. The washbasins come in two sizes and two exterior finishes: natural earth or dark earth, both with a transparent enameled interior in creamy white for the natural earth version and deep blue for the dark earth version.
Cenote a Colonna, by Patricia Urquiola
Surface tectonics. Bloque system, by Patricia Urquiola
The exploration of material begun with Cenote continues with the Bloque system of countertops and storage containers. Patricia Urquiola highlights the sensory appeal of stone and wood with a visually open compositional minimalism. The rhythm is marked by juxtaposed and perpendicular planes, in an original staggered motion between surfaces. The reduced depth of the lower shelf adds further articulation to the ensemble and improves its ergonomics. Modularity is given by widths from 80 to 220 cm and intervals of 20 cm, but the compositions provided by the abacus can be further combined with each other simply by attaching them to obtain greater width. Bloque can accommodate all countertop washbasins by Agape. Due to its versatility and flexibility, it can also be used outside of the bathroom, and is well suited to other rooms of the home and to contract spaces. Its gestures are simultaneously individual and universal.
Bloque system, by Patricia Urquiola
The function of size. Ventiquaranta washbasin microsystem, by LucidiPevere
Ventiquaranta distills functions and minimizes volumes. “We were fascinated by the challenge of bringing the culture of design to life even in the most difficult places to furnish, in the smallest spaces or those meant for quick use. One of today’s trends is the desire to bring elegance and quality into even secondary or formerly more neglected environments, and Ventiquaranta was born with this in mind,” explain Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere. More than a simple washbasin, Ventiquaranta is a full-fledged microsystem complete with dedicated accessories. It is a little piece of architecture, in two cleverly-designed versions playing on the same dimensions, 20×40 cm. In the version perpendicular to the wall, fixed on the short side, the washbasin is complemented by a storage unit with a drawer and two shelves. The version installed parallel to the wall, fixed on the long side, is integrated with door storage and two shelves or towel basket. Ventiquaranta’s versatility, designed to give maximum flexibility to both the designer and the end user, is reflected also in its ability to be used outdoors or indoors. The basin is made of concrete, and the storage unit is available in two different materials: wood in Agape catalog finishes or brushed stainless steel, also ideal for outdoor use, with a monolithic-looking door lightened by a honeycomb aluminum core. The series also includes an outdoor model with a garden hose holder inside the storage unit.
Ventiquaranta washbasin microsystem, by LucidiPevere
028 storage mirror, by Benedini Associati
A natural evolution of the container-mirror 027, the 028 model reprises the extreme formal purity of its predecessor, retaining the character-defining brushed stainless steel plate interior partitions. The new version boasts an additional feature: the mirrored sliding doors mean the storage space can be completely closed, so that personal objects and accessories are hidden behind an elegant and compact surface.
028 storage mirror, by Benedini Associati
004 washbasin, by Benedini Associati
What happens to a design when it is reinterpreted in a different material? How much does it affect the permanence of the form and the physiognomy of the object? Agape has been exploring this question for a long time, and now continues with the 004 washbasin. The semi-recessed channel washbasin, available in sizes from 60 to 120 cm, takes the essential design of the original crystal glass version and reimagines it in marble. The washbasin, constructed from 15 mm slabs of marble with a sloping shelf that hides the drain, acquires a remarkable new visual impact and a striking physicality thanks to the marble.
004 washbasin, by Benedini Associati
Dot Line lamps, by García Cumini
Designed as a line of light, these new lamps celebrate the graphic spirit of the Dot Line series and bring a sense of wellness to the bathroom environment. The lamps are available in both pendant and wall-mounted versions, the latter of which can be installed horizontally or vertically. In a subtle interplay of light and shadow, a “bar of light” emerges from the wall, taking on an intriguing three-dimensional aspect. Dot Line, made of brushed black anodized aluminum and equipped with 3,000K LED lighting, has the same diameter as the other elements in the system and can be ordered to size from a minimum of 50 to a maximum of 299 cm in length, in both wall-mounted and pendant versions. A versatile piece, it can also be easily used outside of the bathroom context to create evocative geometries of light.
Dot Line lamps, by García Cumini
Updates to the line and new finishes
The Rendez-vous system of benches and daybeds designed by Marco Carini introduces bronze-chocolate and brick-red finishes for the painted tubular structure in recycled aluminum. The toasted cork ropes that make up the weave of the horizontal plane are now in a greater width of 1 cm. Two new accessories complete the series. The two benches see the addition of a sheet of aluminum with lightly curved edges. It fits perfectly over the structure to add comfortable seating, or if placed upside down, serves as a tray. The daybed is also even more functional and versatile, with a new water-repellent hemp cover that allows it to be used in the bathroom, various other rooms in the home, and even outdoors. A perfectly tailored “dress” that highlights the interplay of joints between the horizontal and vertical elements of the piece. The upholstery is characterized by the witty graphic weave reminiscent of the corset-like turnbuckles of 19th-century gowns, creating a clinging and sensual effect at the bottom while allowing it to be easily removed for cleaning and washing.
New dimensions for the Face à face architectural washbasins designed by Jean Nouvel. Vertical and horizontal surfaces are juxtaposed through an ingenious system of invisible joints. The countertop and wall-mounted models, also available in a version with a towel bar, come in a width of 120 cm that emphasizes their imposing yet simple lines.
Face à face
Benedini Associati’s Memory sanitary ware series is renewed with the addition of a rimless version. The lack of a rim means lower water consumption, easy cleaning, quiet operation, and a more compact size. This functionality celebrates the rounded lines of the Memory series, inspired by the sinuous forms of the past yet interpreted through a modern lens.
Memory rimless version
The Sen line by Gwenael Nicolas is enriched with a swiveling shower head, a wall lamp, a two-way thermostatic mixer unit with hand shower, countertop accessories, and a new white finish.
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