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Monday, October 22, 2007

Tapping into style

By New Straits Times


Taps as dispensers of design? Why not indeed. Italian company Faucet Ritmonio certainly has no qualms about wearing its heart on its sleeve, judging from its range of innovative products that is bound to strike a chord with design enthusiasts everywhere.

"Taps don't only have to dispense water," said its senior export manager Antonella Bicelli. "They can also discharge emotion... that's what makes our creations so different."

Bicelli was in town recently to unveil the brand, which is carried exclusively in Malaysia by DeBath Sdn Bhd.


"The popularity of Ritmonio taps," she elaborated, "comes from the fact that people not only like the story behind its creation, but also the forms."

In the case of the Paolo e Francesca collection designed by Alberto Rizzi and Rossano Didaglio, she said it expresses "the meeting of two bodies" and that the materials and technology behind it allow the designs to be shaped into "curved profiles with sections that are elliptical and rectangular" and either "united or suspended".

Another range called Serif resonates to a different tune and finds expression through the outline of letters.

"Inspired by the curves of the Times New Roman lettering, this range designed by Peter Jamieson speaks the language of sophistication," said Bicelli.

"It marries classic lines with contemporary styles to such an extent that it can suit either traditional or modern settings and even become a furniture element."

For a thoroughly avantgarde look, she pointed to the Waterblade collection, also designed by Jamieson.

"Its rectangular design in stainless steel exalts the natural movement of the water," Bicelli gushed, adding that this piece won the Good Design 2005 award given by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

Ritmonio also has designs that play with fantasy, one which is its Bianconiglio Espositore - or white rabbit - collection.

Inspired from the tale of Alice in Wonderland, Bicelli said "just as the rabbit brought Alice into Wonderland, what this range does is introduce users to a whole new way of thinking about the world of taps".

Its uniqueness, she said, is that hot and cold water are channelled into a box and then mixed to the desired temperature via a touchscreen control.

Touch sensors are also deployed in the o.o.t.d. (One of These Days) range of mixers as well as the Di.Ta. (Digital Tap), which comes with volume and temperature controls to help monitor water and energy costs.

Other Ritmonio pieces carried by DeBath include the quirky "Dumbo steel" collection; the Frame bath tap collection; and the Diametrotrentacinque range for bath and shower areas.

DeBath general manager and in-house designer Jimmy Wong said all the Ritmonio taps were created by designers, architects, interior designers and engineers, and that the company's Kota Damansara showroom in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, will carry the complete array, including fittings, faucets, shower mixers as well as new bathroom systems.

"Ritmonio taps are out of the ordinary and can amaze people by their designs," he said.

In the DeBath showroom, many of the fittings can be put to the test, including showers, mixers, taps and water closets.

"We feel the time has come for Malaysians to take their bathroom design to the next level," said Wong.

"We're confident our products will be wellreceived by high-end developers as well as those building their own homes.

"We're unique in the world of taps as we not only supply, but also provide consultancy to customers and designers on what is best suited for their bathrooms."

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