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Waterworks Heritage Book

Champions of the modern bathroom chronicle their artisinal approach in a beautiful new book

by Karen Day in Design on 22 March 2011

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Barbara and Robert Sallick founded NYC's Waterworks in 1978 and in the decades since helped redefine the modern bath as "an intimate yet luxurious retreat." With their extensive knowledge on materials and craftsmanship and Barbara at the creative helm, Waterworks remains focused on authentic design—a commitment that shows in both their product and her absorbing online design journal, "The Perfect Bath."

Another publication, commemorating their success and sharing their creative vision, Waterworks's newly-launched "Heritage Book" is equal parts promotional item and tool for designers, architects and homeowners. In addition to gorgeously-photographed images of their product and process, the book shares insight into the company's prospective ideas. Sallick explains. "It's our heritage that actually sets the pace and philosophy for our future." She adds, "the best is yet to come in terms of keeping our authenticity and respecting the craft, while pushing the boundaries of design innovation and quality."

Handcrafting each of their fixtures in Normandy, France (because of the region's quality sand), Waterworks approach to production is largely artisinal. Each piece passes through seven points of human contact—from tumbling and polishing to checking for water tightness—a step-by-step process that ensures mechanical integrity.

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The method also speaks to Barbara's keen interest in design as collaboration. A huge ceramic tile enthusiast, she tells the story of witnessing the "magical" process it takes to create one piece. "Each of the 35 steps to a successful product requires the whole team to work effortlessly together...The end result holds the key to the DNA of the tile maker."

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The designer's fascination with such techniques falls in line with her statement that her three core beliefs for design "are in the sacred tenets of balance, proportion and scale." Whether creating a "multifaceted sensory composition" for the bathroom or just knowing when to add a splash of red, this book thoughtfully details these and more of Waterworks' strengths in creating the kind of utterly relaxing environments that have become a standard amenities in today's high-end homes.

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To get your hands on the "Heritage Book" simply visit a Waterworks showroom or request the book online.

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