Gold Fever from Murano

Designed by Massimiliano Della Monaca, the Soffi collection of bath fixtures (including basin faucets and showerheads) uses original Murano glass to create two very sleek looks: Gold Fever and Optical Style.

Soffi. Designed by Massimiliano Della Monaca. Manufactured by Mario Bongio srl.

Gold Fever uses gold accents against opaque white glass, as well as some striations of saturated color reminiscent of Venetian carnivale. The Gold Fever showerhead shows off stunning diagonal lines in ruby, garnet, and amber, forming a celebratory fount from which you might expect cascades of confetti. Optical Style uses only black and white glass, making a very dramatic statement that is elegant and graphic. The basin faucets in particular use black glass on the outside and milk glass on the inside; the edge where the two meet becomes a spectacular articulation of contrast.

But it is the shapes imagined by Della Monaca that take the old Murano to new heights. The open-mouthed design of the faucets, with their sinuous curve and gradual fluting, reminds one of a Calla Lily or a blossoming foxglove. The organic shape contrasts with the hardness of the material which in turn contrasts with the softness of the flowing water to achieve a triad of effects-a subtle dissertation on structure and tactility. And the great bulbous orb of the Soffi showerhead is like a closed poppy bud or a tufted button or a Mogul turban-all objects that emphasize weight and volume, which again works well to bracket the ebb of the shower's stream.

Gold Fever from Murano

Whether in gold or in black and white, the Soffi Collection works wonders while it directs water. The Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago should definitely invest in the Soffi showerheads, which would echo the skyscraper's onion dome; and the Lilium Tower in Warsaw (Zaha Hadid's skyscraper, under construction) might consider outfitting its baths with the Soffi faucets-its lily form would reiterate the building's flower-shaped circumference. Anywhere the Soffi Collection appears, the juxtaposition of the vitreous and the fluid is sure to please the senses.

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