Jean-Marie Massaud applies diamond-cutting processes to Axor Edge collection
Dezeen promotion: French designer Jean-Marie Massaud has created a collections of taps and shower fittings called Axor Edge that are produced using a diamond-tipped cutting machine more often seen in the aerospace and laser industries.
Each tap in the collection for Axor is made up of a series of "sculptural" asymmetrically combined cuboids, stacked one on top of the other for a striking effect.
The blocks are based on the idea of the gold ingot bars stored by banks, whilst also being reminiscent of vintage cigarette lighters and perfume bottles, according to the designer.
Massaud believes that people are investing more in their bathrooms as a place of wellbeing and respite from our busy 24 hour schedules, and that taps are an important element of this.
"Bathrooms are becoming larger in scale, and because we spend more time there and invest more in them, so the scale of the faucet has to follow," Massaud told Dezeen.
"A plastic chair you might change every two years, but more and more – and especially for faucets – people will keep their bathroom designs for much longer," he continued.
"You don't change your taps when trends change, so the ambition is to deliver the best quality and it has to look long-lasting."
Each block that makes up the fitting has its edges chamfered to exactly 45 degrees using a diamond-tipped precision-milling machine that can cut accurately to a thousandth of a millimetre.
The specially developed machine is similar to those used in the aerospace industry for maximum precision.
Axor Edge is available in six versions for the wash basin, as a single-lever mixer tap in four different heights including a floor-standing version, as well as in a three-hole version and as a wall-mounted mixer.
The taps come in five finishes; polished red gold, polished bronze, polished gold optic, polished black chrome and polished chrome.
Different elements of the tap are available in contrasting finishes, as customers desire.
"Architects have to express themselves, so I develop the vision, and the architect can create his own pattern," said Massaud. "I create the basic words for architects to create their own fiction, their own story."
All the taps' functional labels are engraved, such as the letters "H" and "C" indicating the hot and cold tap in the three-hole version.
As well as smooth, reflective versions of the bathroom fittings, customers can choose taps with a central block engraved with hundreds of precision-pointed pyramids.
This offers a textured matte effect that the manufacturers call the Diamond Cut, and takes advantage of the diamond-tipped machine.
Including the taps, there are 25 pieces in the Axor Edge collection, comprising taps for the washbasin, bath, bidet and also shower thermostat modules.
"I prefer something that is very simple and essential, mixing natural elements," said Massaud.
"More than having an idea of a smart thing, or a trendy thing, it's more the development of a vision. It has to be cool!"
Maussaud has been creating bathroom collections with Axor since 2005.
Over the last fourteen years they have collaborated on projects including Axor WaterDream – a project that saw Axor create fully customised mixer taps in materials such as clay and marble – and Axor Massaud, a bathroom collection inspire by the natural world.
"It takes complicity and confidence to complete this sort of project. The engineers at Axor are very cool, and there was no stress in accomplishing our goal," explained Massaud.
The designer co-founded Studio Massaud with Daniel Pouzet in 2000, and expanded his practice into the field of architecture, with the Estadio Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico.
He has also designed furniture, home accessories and transport including a submarine and a flying hotel concept called Manned Cloud.
Find out more about Axor Edge on Axor's website.