Best of the Best 2007: Bath

When Turkish bath manufacturer VitrA invited industrial designer Ross Lovegrove to create a bathroom suite, he immediately accepted. “Istanbul is so redolent with history,” says Lovegrove. “It inspires a unique marriage between the East and the West.” Lovegrove, a Westerner (he is a native of Wales), says he was inspired by the fluid architectural and design shapes associated with the Ottoman Empire. His 175-piece VitrA Istanbul Collection (877.658.4872, www.vitra-usa.com) consists of bathtubs, toilets, bathroom furnishings, and washbasins, including one that is particularly captivating. “The washbasin is made in two pieces, which was always thought of as impossible because of the physics of the ceramic firing process,” says Lovegrove. Indeed, when he presented the concept to VitrA, he received a tepid response, but ultimately the 41-year-old brand produced the washbasin as Lovegrove had conceived it. Turkey is the collection’s primary point of reference, but nature also played an influential role in the designs. Levers resemble stones, showerheads take the form of teardrops, and ceramic tiles depict the visual effect of a droplet striking the surface of a pool of water.

Although minimalist in appearance, the Toto Neorest RainShower Tower (800.350.8686, www.totousa.com) propels as much as 6.6 gallons of water a minute from an oversize rain showerhead with 121 jets, three adjustable body sprays, and a handheld showerhead with a 60-inch hose. The button-controlled system also allows you to program temperature, pulse, and water pressure settings. This system can transform a daily shower into a hydrotherapeutic spa session.

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