“We feed off innovation.” It’s a quote – stolen from the art director and co-owner Andrea Lupi – that goes a long way towards summing up the entire philosophy of the company. Antoniolupi is always looking ahead, always thinking about the future, because – as Lupi puts it – “the objective is not the react to developing fashions and design trends, but to anticipate them”. This ever-evolving design ethos has seen Antoniolupi produce some truly original products and – more generally – help to redefine the very concept of a bathroom as an “experience space”.
The brand’s never-ending search for new ideas, influences and styles this year prompted them to update their company image, starting with the exhibition space in Milan, which was significantly extended and refurbished to coincide with Design Week in April. Studio Calvi Brambilla was responsible for the architectural work, with the stand-out feature being the vaulted ceiling which is intentionally irregular and seems almost to hang off the dark background – the inspiration here was provided by the bathrooms of the Kılıç Ali Paşa in Istanbul. By contrast, the style of the flooring and walls could not be more Milanese (coarse cement plaster has been used for the buildings of Milan for over two millennia, while the porcelain stoneware used underfoot is made from local stone).
Simple details adorn the box-like space, in which products are given the freedom they need to shine. The style is so effective and impactful that it was used for the brand’s display area at Salone del Mobile.Milano, which saw the company unveil three new collections showcasing the fruits of its innovation and experimentation across materials, technique and shape: Intreccio, Indigo and Collage.
Paolo Ulian explores the relationship between lightness of touch and the solidity of marble in his freestanding Intreccio basin. Created from a single block of marble, it comprises concentric layers placed one on top of the other in a staggered manner, creating alluring shadows as the light hits the concave and convex sections. This is not just a product, but a fully fledged sculpture in which technology contributes to creating an aesthetic.
The same sculptural feel returns in the form of the Indigo tap (designed by Nevio Tellatin). Made entirely from brass in the new Grafite finish, it features a flat, rounded spout and a unique control knob whose unusual cut-away section brings dynamism to the shape and breaks up the static feel.
Last but certainly not least, the Collage mirrors are the fruit of Luca Galofaro’s research into the relationship between representation, urban architecture and image. Galofaro was the man behind the exhibition-cum-collection of Architecture Designs installed at the company showroom in Stabbia, of which some of the designs were selected and applied to these Antoniolupi mirrors using a 3D collage effect.