GROHE has relaunched its decade-old Atrio faucet series, and the reimagined version is the very essence of elegance and precision.
29 May 2018
Text by Janice Seow
Images courtesy of GROHE Asia Pacific and Attila HartwigEmeisDeubel
Of the countless products that are launched to market every year, very few will eventually attain the status of ‘icon’ – a timeless design that’s relevant through the ages, with lasting appeal. With the relaunched Atrio faucet series however, GROHE may have just gone and added a new design classic to the bathroom scene.
The faucet’s slim body has been reduced to its essentials. It enjoys balanced proportions and pure cylindrical shapes, with the distinctive cross handles giving it an extravagant look. As a timeless, minimalist design, it’s easy to see Atrio fitting into any type of bathroom interior.
Beyond its beautiful aesthetics, Atrio is also easy to operate. It has ergonomic handles for manually mixing cold and hot water, while the handles with C and H markings regulate water volume and temperature. The revised design also features an integrated jet regulator that ensures a constant and flat flow of water, which pleasantly encloses the hand during washing. Atrio’s innovation doesn’t stop there; the faucet’s elegant body measures the same diameter from spout to bottom – a one-of-a-kind in the industry.
We speak to Michael Seum, Vice President of Design for GROHE AG to find out more.
Michael Seum, Vice President of Design, GROHE AG
Atrio has been in the market for a decade. What made GROHE decide to relaunch Atrio now?
I personally really like the bones and the DNA of Atrio. It was one of those products in the back of my mind, and I kept thinking that this would be a fun one to work with. We also looked at the market, and felt that it was needing some luxury.
What are the key aesthetic similarities and differences between the old and new Atrio?
It’s still derived from circular geometry. However, the previous line was not as well balanced. The proportions of the two are incredibly different. We’ve really reduced the volume of the line, and we’ve been more obsessive with the details. We’ve also gotten rid of the unnecessary.
What are the technical differences between the two Atrios?
Well, we can’t really compare old and new in this case, because by reducing the amount of material we’ve made it harder for the engineers to fit everything in. So the technical challenges are incredible; I put a lot of pressure on the engineering team to reduce the amount of space internally.
It may have been technically challenging, but it’s also a really good story because of the fact that it uses less material resource.
Tell us about the challenges of creating a faucet that has the same diameter from spout to bottom.
From the side view, you’ll see that that the spout diameter intersects with the valve bottom. Below the valve body, there’s a stem that’s the same diameter as the spout. You have the water lines, the mounting device, and there’s a lot of traffic. That’s where a lot of the technical challenges lay – to get the engineering details reduced to fit that. It’s quite an industry first I think.
Everything about the Atrio is derived from the circle. Why was this shape chosen as the basis of the design?
The circle is part of our core DNA. It’s efficient, it’s symbolic, and it also happens to be the primary geometry that existed in the previous design. What we did was strip away all the unnecessary steps and decoration that was there before. The circle is also the most efficient form to let water pass through.
With the new Atrio, I think what we are trying to do is set a new direction. This is about us doing very little to make a beautiful design. It is about what we can take away and still have something that’s unique, and so it is a test of reduction, of simplification. It’s just about being honest with the product.
The new Atrio series includes more than 35 products in a unified design, available in the two GROHE SPA colours SuperSteel and Brushed Hard Graphite, as well as in chrome. The washbasin faucets are available as a single-lever basin mixer, one-hole basin mixer with two handles, and 3-hole basin mixer.
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