In the bathroom with ArmaniBy Isabel Berenguer Asuncion
Philippine Daily Inquirer
No one can argue that when one speaks of simplicity and elegance in the world of global fashion, Giorgio Armani is one of the first to come to mind. Through many years of fashion revolutions, he still adheres to largely structured and tailored lines, masculine colors, mostly basic “noncolors,” and unpretentious yet cleverly constructed forms. Although fashion trends and styles evolve and change over time, the core values of Armani’s design have remain unaltered.
In collaboration with Roca, the Spanish sanitary ware company, the house of Armani designs a bathroom system that integrates beauty, functionality and pleasure. In other words, a little world dedicated to the enjoyment of the senses. It is no surprise then that this new line of luxury bath fixtures and fittings combines both elegance and innovation.
I’ve always said that there are three very important areas for personal enjoyment: the bed, the kitchen and the bathroom. If you have these three spaces well designed and well appointed, then you can live happily for the rest of your life. The problem usually lies in trying to get it all together properly. Armani does so for bathrooms in this seemingly simple way.
An integrated module provides for everything: floor and wall tiles, lighting, light switches, fixtures, fittings, accessories, storage components, shower doors and enclosures. It is, in a way, the lazy and foolproof alternative to having to meticulously design and construct your own bathroom. But no one can argue with Armani’s design sense and the style of which he manages to put the whole assemblage together.
His bath suite is configured like an island where all the essential elements for real toilet “tasks” and those for bathroom pleasure are zoned into modular areas. This package concept is quite a smart way to market a bathroom when you know your clientele can afford a good amount of space. Let me give you details of the various “zones”:
• The beauty area is a vanity area that fits in two porcelain washbasins with contours that have been sculpted to feature the “Water-Flow effect”—allowing water to flow without splashing. The faucets are in a special matte metallic finish, produced only for this line. Built-in storage drawers fit within the lavatory counter and can be personalized with variety of inside tray designs. A vanity mirror is provided with lighting at the sides, top and base, and even has a de-misting device to get rid of condensation. It also has a built-in vertical cabinet with an adjustable magnifying mirror, hidden electrical outlets and a shelf. Nifty, if I may say.
• The wellness shower area. In this space, a thermostatic mixer allows for the easy adjustment of water temperature, with four options of water supply: a cascading wall spout, a rain shower from the ceiling, swiveling jets, or a handheld shower. The ritual of showering becomes a sensual experience with LED ceiling lights that change from yellow to dramatic moonlit blue. The enclosure is a fine mesh laminated into the glass panel, framed in a special metal finish—a detail I thought softened and changed the very feel of the shower area and made it feel more residential than commercial.
• The basic needs area has the sanitary ware suspended from the wall by hidden brackets, creating a spacious feel and allowing for easier maintenance. Recessed storage units make everything accessible and within an arm’s reach, and without the distracting visual clutter you will usually find in a toilet area.
• The wellness bath space has a large built-in bathtub with soft headrest, filled with cascading water on one side and an overflow on the other side, quite like a swimming pool. The tub has a handheld shower that is thermostatically controlled. You can choose to pay a bit more and indulge in “Champagne Bubbles” (bubbles the size and texture of those in champagne) or a “Water Chromo”—yes, color therapy!
Branded, integrated system
While Armani’s integrated island approach is not a revolutionary concept in design, it is probably one for its marketing, for no one contemporary bathroom design tries to sell as a branded, integrated system with so much of both aesthetics and technology in one package. The price tag? Contact the local distributor to find out (Living and Style +632 8126777 locals 140, 141 & 148), as there is still no display unit in our local soil. Brace yourself too.
What caught my eye in this bath suite was its clean and refined appearance. So much glamour in its simplicity! Undoubtedly, the ultimate in bath pleasure may come with a hefty price tag. Fortunately we have a bath design, which reminds us that a seemingly effortless blend of both the art and science can deliver some of the best sensual experiences. This bath suite does just that.
Contact the author through firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Asuncion Berenguer Facebook account.