Inspired by design and landscape

Piedmont is one of Italy's most picturesque districts, but it has also made a name as the heartland of a highly innovative and progressive faucet industry

A view of some bathroomware by Equa. bathroom sink, plumbing fixture, product, product design, purple, sink, tap, gray, black
A view of some bathroomware by Equa.

As anyone who has visited Italy can attest, it is scarcely surprising that so much great art and architecture has been inspired by the landscape. And it's a tradition that continues today, with Italy at the forefront of contemporary design and fashion.

Piedmont, an industrial region nestled among the majestic Alps, has long been known for the quality of its manufactured products, which mix traditional craftsmanship with innovative design.

Within this region lies Cusio-Valsesia, a district hidden in the hills around the enchanting Lake d'Orta. But it's not just the scenery that has made this area famous Cusio-Valsesia is the home of Italy's renowned faucet industry, producing 15% of the world's bronze and brass faucets and valves.

The industry, which has grown from ancient workshops and small laboratories, is now recognized for its exacting standards of performance and distinctly Italian sense of style. Many of the innovative products to emerge against this backdrop can be seen on the following pages.

For details, contact the Italian Trade Commission, 1801 Avenue Of The Stars, Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90067, phone (323) 879 0950. Website: www.italtrade.com.

Faucets may be functional objects we use every day, but they can still showcase innovative design. The Rubinetterie Ritmonio faucets featured on this page were designed to excite the emotions to bring a little color into our day-to-day lives.

The company's faucets are characterized by their strong design elements, which reflect a coherence of lines and materials, and a commitment to high technology. Ritmonio faucets not only present an element of surprise they also make a strong visual statement.

In addition, the faucet designs highlight the focus of a young company that has positioned itself as a bright and tenacious, design-oriented manufacturer, says company spokesperson Davide Vercelli.

"Our designs are the result of extensive research," he says. "We are continually searching out new technologies and materials, and exploring new methods of water management and control."

For further information, contact Rubinetterie Ritmonio Sri, via Indren 4, Zona Ind Roccapietra, 13019 Varallo VC, Italy, phone (+39) 0163 560 000, fax (+39) 0163 560 100. Email: info@ritmonio.it. Website: www.ritmonio.it.

Originality is the hallmark of good design. It's also a company philosophy that has served Rubinetteria La Torre well for more than four decades.

The Italian faucet manufacturer says it does not slavishly follow fads when designing new faucet collections. Instead, it draws on the experience and talent of its design team to produce innovative new designs for a discriminating clientele in the mid-to-upper segment of the market.

However, the company says it still takes note of market trends and is quick to respond to customer requests with price-competitive products.

More than 20 years ago Rubinetteria La Torre developed the first faucets with a timed automatic closure a product line that has enabled the company to gain a large market share. This in turn has fuelled the company's growth and innovation.

Rubinetteria La Torre exports to more than 40 countries. Its products have been granted ISO 9001 and 14001 certification, which reflects the company's attention to environmental protection.

For more details, contact Rubinetteria La Torre, Via Altovergante 33, 28045 Invorio, Italy, phone (+39) 0322 255 391, fax (+39) 0322 255 442. Email: info@latorre-spa.it. Website: www.latorre-spa.it.

For new product designs to keep emerging, young designers need opportunities to express their ideas and have them critiqued by professionals in the relevant industry.

Webert Rubinetteria, which produces single lever and traditional faucets, understands the importance of this concept. So, to provide a platform where aspiring designers and architects can express their creativity with new-generation faucets, it has launched an international design contest for the faucet industry, says sales and marketing director Mario Molinari.

A view of Laje D'Orta in Piedmont Italy. city, coast, lake, mount scenery, mountain, mountain range, promontory, river, sea, sky, tourism, tourist attraction, town, tree, water, waterway, teal
A view of Laje D'Orta in Piedmont Italy.

"The Series Flauto is a result of the first contest, and shortly it will be turned into reality, giving us another line of new-generation faucets," he says.

The new series will be added to the company's already extensive range of brass and stainless steel kitchen and bathroom faucets, thermostatic mixers, sensor faucets and shower systems. All Webert faucets have special cartridges for limiting water consumption, thus saving water. They also come with a five-year guarantee and most have cUPC certificates for the US and Canadian markets.

Contact Webert Rubinetteria, via Beltrami 11, 28014 Maggiora, NO, Italy, phone (+39) 0322 870 180, fax (+39) 0322 874 72. Website: www.webert.it.

When a company has been successfully established in business for a very long time, it must have acquired a good understanding of the needs of the consumer.

Zucchetti Rubinetteria has been producing faucets and fittings in Italy for more than 78 years, with the aim of designing products that offer a combination of style and practicality, says CEO Elena Zucchetti.

"Zucchetti's trademarks are research, design and technological innovation, and product quality.

"Our faucets are sculptural items that are created to be contemplated and admired, but not just that. Each product from Zucchetti represents a special search for form and matter to be touched, felt and experienced, day after day," says Zucchetti.

Bellagio is the second collection from a collaboration between Zucchetti and designer Matteo Thun. The range is inspired by the Art Deco aesthetic with a modern flair. Bellagio is available in traditional and single-lever versions in chrome, brushed nickel, platinum and Tuscan finishes.

For more information, contact Zucchetti Rubinetteria, Via Molini di Resiga, 29, 28024 Gozzano, NO, Italy, phone (646) 343 0340. Website: www.zucchettidesign.com.

To survive in today's sophisticated market, a business must continually subject its products to a process of design refinement and innovation. The simple faucet is no exception to this. Years ago, all we expected was for this fitting to give us hot and cold running water.

Now, companies like Paini Rubinetterie invest extensively in research and development, so they can offer products with improved designs. Innovations have resulted in faucets fitted with ceramic disc cartridges to prevent any sort of leaking or breakdown of the cartridge. Other developments include the thermostatic shower mixer, which makes it easy to fix the shower at a desired temperature, offering the consumer complete control and anti-scald protection.

Paini produces a range of modern, Italian-made kitchen, lavatory and bath products, as well as faucets for garden tubs and commercial use. All its faucets are designed with the consumer's comfort in mind.

For more information, contact Paini US, 800 Ellis Mill Rd, Suite D, Glassboro, NJ 08028, phone (856) 881 7890, fax (856) 881 7938. Email: info@paini-usa.com. Or visit the website: www.LaToscanaCollection.com.

As is often the case in product design, even the simplest lines and curves give no clue to the sophisticated technology that may lie behind them.

That's the case with bathroom showers from Italian company OMBG, says general manager Silvia Pireddu. Solo, the company's latest model, is a contemporary column shower in brass with a patented thermostatic mixer, which keeps the water temperature a steady 44ºC.

"If there is a sudden rise or drop in water temperature, the shower compensates automatically," says Pireddu.

"This avoids the risk of burns or thermal shocks from sudden cold temperatures."

The Solo is easy to use and install, with a simple system to fix the shower to the wall, says Pireddu.

A view of some tapware by Webert Rubinetteria. angle, automotive design, automotive exterior, design, hardware, motor vehicle, personal luxury car, plumbing fixture, product, product design, tap, black, gray
A view of some tapware by Webert Rubinetteria.

"It's these technological innovations that, combined with the clean and uncluttered aesthetics, make our ranges so popular," she says.

OMBG has been awarded many quality standards, including the UNI EN 900-Vision 2000.

For more information, contact OMBG, Via Casale 34/A, 28010 Bolzano Novarese, NO, Italy, phone (+39) 0322 982303, fax (+39) 0322 982122. Email: info@ombg.net. Website: www.ombg.net.

When you're planning your bathroom, it helps to decide upfront what type of faucet you need and that will often depend on your budget and the size of your sink. Small spaces suit wall-mounted or one-piece faucet styles, while larger sinks can accommodate faucets with two or more levers and a spout in the middle.

In the case of these minimalist designs from Porta Faucets, customers can choose from wall-mounted, single and multiple levers, depending on their design needs and budget, says Gabriele Mecozzi, president of the company's US branch. All models are environmentally friendly, as they are designed to conserve water, although a normal volume of water appears to flow from them.

Following success in Europe and elsewhere, the Italian-designed and made faucets are now available in showrooms throughout America, with next-day delivery.

"We decided to offer our affordable luxury lines to American customers, and found that homeowners and designers love them," says Mecozzi.

The company, founded in 1948, specializes in minimalist and traditional Italian designs.

Contact Porta Faucet, phone (866) 99 Porta (76782). Website: www.portafaucets.com.

Gone are the days when we had to choose between aesthetics and products that are kind to the environment: increasingly, manufacturers are finding ways to offer us both.

That's the case with Equa, a north Italian company that specializes in designing sinks, showers and faucets with a distinctively European, contemporary feel.

Design innovations include the new Light Delight range, shown here, which features lights activated by the water's temperature. Warm water appears red, while cold water takes on a blue hue.

The company also ensures its products and processes are environmentally sustainable, says managing director Guilio Ciana.

"Our production processes are environmentally friendly. We don't use toxic materials such as acids or chromium, which means that the stainless steel is easy to recycle," he says.

Equa's products come with a 50-year guarantee. The faucets are made from stainless steel, in polished and satin finishes, to avoid wear and flaking. Surfaces are resistant to shocks, abrasion and corrosion in humid or dry environments.

For more information, contact Equa. Email: info@equasystem.com or export@equasystem.com.

Story by: Trendsideas

08 Jun, 2007