Governolo, Roncoferraro, Italy – Agape’s well-being space is enriched with the surprising textural vibrations of two new circular countertop washbasins, ‘Cenote’ and ‘Cenote Lava’, designed by Patricia Urquiola. A new magnetic presence in the bathroom, which Agape envisions as an architecture of the senses modeled on the desires of its inhabitants.
An ancient natural cave and source of fresh water, for pre-Columbian cultures the cenote was a place of mystical significance. Now, Urquiola draws inspiration from it for an evocative interpretation of the wash basin. The two product series experiments with natural materials - fireclay for Cenote and lava stone for Cenote Lava - and different manual processes that make each piece a unique, distinctive, and precious object.
The unpredictable small imperfections in craft and material speak a language deliberately at odds with the homogeneity and perfection that often define contemporary aesthetics. Deeply attuned to Agape’s vision, Urquiola’s design celebrates that human component in a synthesis of thought and skilled craftsmanship, generating an object of living, timeless beauty.
Made of natural or dark refractory clay molded by hand on the potter’s wheel, this is a washbasin that expresses itself outside the usual decorative paradigms. The craftsmanship of the refractory leaves the outer surface deliberately rough: in a play of contrasts, it then reveals a polished and glazed interior in striking colours that evoke the transparent, warm white and blue shades of Mexican water basins.
Cenote’s formal composition draws on an architectural vocabulary: a 4-centimetre-high collar, reminiscent of skirting or crown molding, emphasises a division between the geometries of the base below and the basin above.
This is a monolith of Sicilian lava stone, worked with a CNC system and then fired at 1100°C, which conveys a rough and powerful appeal. The contours of the basin evoke visual and tactile emotions, further highlighted by the almost sculptural craftsmanship that brings the circular shape out of the stone. The basin recalls an essential architectural composition, characterised by a truncated-conical base that detaches the basin from the countertop, emphasising its volumes.
Cenote and Cenote Lava come in two sizes: 420 millimetres in diameter by 182 millimetres in height and 450 millimetres in diameter by 124 millimetres in height.