In 1998, the Italian bathroom manufacturer Agape introduced designer Giampaolo Benedini’s avant-garde Spoon tub, which elevated the basic bathtub to a piece of functional art. In 2004, the company added architect and designer Patricia Urquiola’s Pear line of tubs, washbasins, toilets, and bidets—all items distinctive for their curvy-yet-modern aesthetic. Now, after years of making highly contemporary pieces, Agape is drawing inspiration from the past to produce bath designs with a traditional bent.
The Giampaolo Benedini–designed Memory Collection (priced from about $1,400 to $11,300), which debuted last October, consists of tubs and washbasins that evoke their cast-iron predecessors of the 19th and 20th centuries. The line’s two designs, Ottocento and Novecento, feature shapely silhouettes with velvety smooth surfaces. The Ottocento bath is modeled after the classic claw-foot tub and sports an exposed drainpipe and a softly rounded basin with four feet, while the rectangular-shaped Novecento tub (pictured) narrows at the base and can sit either on two supports or flat on the floor.
Features include an optional stainless-steel towel rail for the Novecento washbasin and tub, and chrome-plated brass taps with a traditional cross-handle design for both the Novecento and Ottocento models. But perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the product line is the innovative material that forms the vessels themselves. Cristalplant—a composite of resin and minerals that is smooth to the touch, exceptionally durable, and highly conductive to heat—makes the Memory Collection more than a thing of the past.
Agape, +39.0376.250311, www.agapedesign.it