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Twenty years ago, the design-loving owners of Matisse literally fell in love with leading Italian bathroom brand, Agape – aptly named after the ancient Greek word that signifies universal love.

Matisse supplies world-class furniture, kitchens, lighting and wardrobes for residential and commercial spaces. On the hunt for high-quality, timeless bathroom products for the New Zealand market, co-owners Alan and Jeanne Bertenshaw were taken by Agape’s strong focus on innovation, research, flexible solutions and sustainability, and its collaborations with leading European designers.

Agape anticipated the use of new eco-certified sustainable materials in 2011, when it mapped all its products according to the world-leading ‘green building’ organisation LEED’s certification standards.

Twenty years ago, the design-loving owners of Matisse literally fell in love with leading Italian bathroom brand, Agape – aptly named after the ancient Greek word that signifies universal love.

Matisse supplies world-class furniture, kitchens, lighting and wardrobes for residential and commercial spaces. On the hunt for high-quality, timeless bathroom products for the New Zealand market, co-owners Alan and Jeanne Bertenshaw were taken by Agape’s strong focus on innovation, research, flexible solutions and sustainability, and its collaborations with leading European designers.

Agape anticipated the use of new eco-certified sustainable materials in 2011, when it mapped all its products according to the world-leading ‘green building’ organisation LEED’s certification standards.

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The minimal, Zen-inspired SEN range illustrates the company’s commitment to sustainable, innovative materials. Designed by French designer Nicolas Gwenael of Tokyo studio CURIOSITY, the collection includes tapware, basin, bath and shower components.

“The use of brushed, anodised aluminium in the SEN taps creates texture and depth, while still being 100 per cent recyclable. In addition, recycling this material only uses five per cent of the energy used to create new aluminium,” says Natasha Pienaar, Matisse’s bathroom sales manager.

The minimal, Zen-inspired SEN range illustrates the company’s commitment to sustainable, innovative materials. Designed by French designer Nicolas Gwenael of Tokyo studio CURIOSITY, the collection includes tapware, basin, bath and shower components.

“The use of brushed, anodised aluminium in the SEN taps creates texture and depth, while still being 100 per cent recyclable. In addition, recycling this material only uses five per cent of the energy used to create new aluminium,” says Natasha Pienaar, Matisse’s bathroom sales manager.

SEN also cleverly disguises unique tap levers within an array of varying storage components for towels, shampoos, toiletries and hand-held shower units.

Innovation in design and functionality is another area in which Agape is focused. With its cross-shaped handles and clean lines, the Benedini Associati-designed Memory tapware range is inspired by the past but uses contemporary materials and technology to suit the modern bathroom.

SEN also cleverly disguises unique tap levers within an array of varying storage components for towels, shampoos, toiletries and hand-held shower units.

Innovation in design and functionality is another area in which Agape is focused. With its cross-shaped handles and clean lines, the Benedini Associati-designed Memory tapware range is inspired by the past but uses contemporary materials and technology to suit the modern bathroom.

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“The Memory taps feature a progressive flow tap that is an evolution of today’s mixer tap. Water flow begins with a cold temperature and, upon turning the handle, slowly progresses to warm and then hot, with the strength of the water remaining consistent,” says Natasha.

She suggests that more clients are asking for taps with a matt finish or in different metal finishes, while the widespread use of porcelain is diminishing in favour of synthetic resins, stone, wood, oxides and marble.

“Anodised metals, combined with colour, create a completely unique, bold finish and are being specified more and more,” she adds. “The use of a new application process called PVD (physical vapour deposition) keeps colours – such as brass, gold and black – fresh, with no fear of tarnishing and chipping.”

Memory taps are generally available in a chrome or brushed, burnished finish, which gives them a natural, almost rustic appearance, but they can also be ordered on request in matt white, black, or in natural, brushed brass.

Factors such as design, quality, finish and craftsmanship all come into play when deciding on which tapware to choose but Natasha sums it up neatly: “The basic factors to a well-designed tap lie in the height of the tap, the angle at which the water flows, functionality, water efficiency and, of course, beauty!”

Agape’s stunning Spoon and Spoon XL range of baths and basins is equally as important as their tapware. Designed to perfection, the minimal, elegant range is composed of the eco-material Cristalplant® biobased and has become a global design icon that is available in countertop and semi-recessed versions.

The XL version of the Agape Spoon bath, in particular, is a masterpiece of minimalist beauty that has not been bettered since its inception in 2005. The smooth tactile, sculptural beauty of Cristalplant® combines with a simple and sophisticated form to make bathing a subliminal experience... exactly as it should be.

To see more beautiful bathroom products that tick all the boxes, visit Matisse on ArchiPro.

“The Memory taps feature a progressive flow tap that is an evolution of today’s mixer tap. Water flow begins with a cold temperature and, upon turning the handle, slowly progresses to warm and then hot, with the strength of the water remaining consistent,” says Natasha.

She suggests that more clients are asking for taps with a matt finish or in different metal finishes, while the widespread use of porcelain is diminishing in favour of synthetic resins, stone, wood, oxides and marble.

“Anodised metals, combined with colour, create a completely unique, bold finish and are being specified more and more,” she adds. “The use of a new application process called PVD (physical vapour deposition) keeps colours – such as brass, gold and black – fresh, with no fear of tarnishing and chipping.”

Memory taps are generally available in a chrome or brushed, burnished finish, which gives them a natural, almost rustic appearance, but they can also be ordered on request in matt white, black, or in natural, brushed brass.

Factors such as design, quality, finish and craftsmanship all come into play when deciding on which tapware to choose but Natasha sums it up neatly: “The basic factors to a well-designed tap lie in the height of the tap, the angle at which the water flows, functionality, water efficiency and, of course, beauty!”

Agape’s stunning Spoon and Spoon XL range of baths and basins is equally as important as their tapware. Designed to perfection, the minimal, elegant range is composed of the eco-material Cristalplant® biobased and has become a global design icon that is available in countertop and semi-recessed versions.

The XL version of the Agape Spoon bath, in particular, is a masterpiece of minimalist beauty that has not been bettered since its inception in 2005. The smooth tactile, sculptural beauty of Cristalplant® combines with a simple and sophisticated form to make bathing a subliminal experience... exactly as it should be.

To see more beautiful bathroom products that tick all the boxes, visit Matisse on ArchiPro.

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