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Industrial Designers

The Anatomy of a High-Design, Small-Batch Luxury Faucet

May 23, 2019
BY Studio Sixtysix

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  • PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIZO
    Inspiration for the shape comes not only from nature, but also architecture. “Architects are building these monstrosities of buildings that can stand for hundreds of years, and they are doing it with geometric shapes and forms,” T.J. says. But while the overall shape of the faucet is geometric, it also incorporates a soft, subtle curve at the spout. “Adding that softness makes it a little bit more approachable.”
  • PHOTO BY NILS ERICSON
    Embedded fibers strengthen each faucet, but it took a lot of trial and error to deliver such a strong, striking finished product. “If you did too much, you’d clog up the mold and create air pockets,” T.J. says. The team also conducted intense strength testing—completing countless drop tests and force tests on every component. “Those embedded fibers are a big component to the mixture in that it’s essentially the rebar of the concrete mixture; it helps hold everything together.”
  • PHOTO BY NILS ERICSON
    Each faucet is meticulously handcrafted by sculptor Christopher Shannon in his studio in Victoria, British Columbia. This process gives each faucet a distinct texture, color, and style. “You are installing a faucet no one else in the world has,” T.J. says.
  • PHOTO BY NILS ERICSON
    From inception to unveiling, development of the Vettis Concrete faucet took over four years, as the Brizo team worked to create and reveal its exciting new product. Making a single concrete faucet takes as long as a month and a half—the curing process itself takes 30 days. Every part of the process is an art, from pouring the mixture into the mold to the curing process and assembly, which takes place at the Brizo plant in Jackson, Tennessee.

The Vettis™ Concrete faucet by Brizo® is not what you might expect. The material—ultra high-performance concrete—is a surprising choice to begin with, and the limited edition release makes each model all the more remarkable. Just 500 of the boundary-pushing faucets exist, and no two are exactly alike. “Each piece has its own story,” explains T.J. Eads, lead industrial designer. He and the rest of the Brizo team spent four years developing the sophisticated engineering behind the faucet, working with expert sculptor Christopher Shannon to complete the meticulous handcrafting process. This small-batch production and individual attention gives each faucet a distinct texture, color, and style.

T.J. has worked on countless special and even challenging projects in the past, but he says nothing compares to creating Vettis Concrete. The faucet takes the Vettis bath collection—with its solid, geometric forms that capture the sensory experience of cascading water—to another level. A natural aesthetic combined with strength and a lavish feel is unlike anything else on the market. “Concrete is such a utilitarian material, and yet it’s so necessary and beautiful in its own right if you take the time to look at it and feel it.” As each of the 500 faucets is handmade, each is truly unique—all the way down to color and serialization. A limited number of faucets are available by reservation only here.

This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Sixtysix with the headline “Vettis™ Concrete.” Subscribe today.

PRODUCTION CREDITS:

Produced by Studio Sixtysix
Words by Laura Rote
Photos by Nils Ericson and courtesy of Brizo

Studio Sixtysix is the in-house creative agency to Sixtysix magazine. Studio Sixtysix stories are conceived, produced, and edited by Studio Sixtysix.

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