Agape’s New Architectural Bathtub And Washbasins by Jean Nouvel Design: “Face À Face”
Views: 251

“Face à face” by Jean Nouvel Design is a new concept of architectural bathtubs and washbasins that marks the launch of a collaboration between Agape and the French architect.

For Nouvel, architecture is simultaneously depth of thought and rigor, as well as poetry and pleasure. Every element of his concept of the bathtub is perfectly calibrated to invite us into a space of relaxation, well—being, and dialogue. Showcasing the beauty of natural marble through the geometric language of two-dimensionality. These values are apparent in the collection’s name, with "Face" meaning “surface” in French, while also referring to a “human face.”

Thanks to an ingenious system of invisible joints, the bathtub is constructed in a way that makes its surfaces appear to simply approach one another, side by side. The effect is both imposing and light, essential and material, generous and functional. Surfaces brush against one another to serve as a backrest. Extremely precise design and careful attention to the proper angle of each surface contribute to the bathtub becoming a comfortable nest where you can sit, lie down, read, and relax, like a tribute to Jacques-Louis David’s iconic painting, The Death of Marat.

“In the interiors of my architecture, the bathroom is a very important space. The placement of the tub is even more so. Even in the most complicated setups, you should leave it free-standing, like a ship at sea. A spot where the light comes in, near a window with a view of the sky, the city, and the landscape,” describes Jean Nouvel.

A vision of the bathtub as an epicenter of well-being finds its concrete expression in “Face à face”, an eye-catching project requiring space around it. An outdoor location is easy to imagine.

The poetics of two-dimensionality continue in the collection’s washbasins, available in countertop, wall-mounted, and freestanding versions. All channeled, thanks to the suitably inclined plane of the basin, their vertical and horizontal surfaces combine for a rigorous architectural structure. A towel bar or storage component may be added.

These abstract objects use contrasts to enhance, like the bathtub, the almost baroque splendor of the marble. This is due to the collaborators’ choice of material, which is of fundamental importance to Jean Nouvel and Agape: it must be natural, with a long history, like the finest of marbles. For a bathroom, matter and formal purity find new architectural syntheses.


For nearly 50 years, Agape has been synonymous with design culture. The brand, founded by the brothers Giampaolo and Emanuele Benedini, offers more than 550 functional products for bathroom spaces. Washbasins, faucets, furniture, bathtubs, lights, and accessories designed by masters of contemporary design and architecture. Timeless objects that naturally develop an intense dialogue with any space, becoming elements of an architectural vocabulary of the senses. International by nature, Agape also has deep ties to Mantua, the Renaissance city and extraordinary architectural workshop where its headquarters are located.

Jean Nouvel Design

Jean Nouvel Design is a multidisciplinary team working in the fields of furniture design, interior design, scenography, and visual communication. Jean Nouvel’s work follows in the tradition of philosopher- architects who design worlds of all sizes. An urban planner and architect, Jean Nouvel is also a designer who rejects labels: “I don’t see any difference between when I draw a chair and when I imagine a building. I see each project as a complete design program in itself. For every challenge posed, I seek the “elemental” object whose finite form defines an idea. It is always an appropriate and unique response that testifies, culturally and technically, to our time and our civilization.” Jean Nouvel created JND (Jean Nouvel Design) in 1995 to provide the AJN (Ateliers Jean Nouvel) architectural firm with complementary design work. Since its inception, Jean Nouvel Design has developed and curated over one hundred objects and pieces of furniture.

For more information, visit