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While a sink is a standard element in every bathroom, Ell goes far beyond basic. You could even be excused for not realizing that it is a sink. The innovative design, which premiered as a prototype in 2015 and launched in Milan this year as a fully realized product, turns convention on its head by replacing the typical bowl with a grid panel that sits seamlessly within the counter­top. The almost flat appearance results in an illusion that had juror Anna Simone asking, “Where does the water go?”

The vision of Italian bathroom manufacturer Agape, along with designers Andrés Jost, Diego Cisi and Milan design studio Benedini Associati, Ell is engineered for a maximum thickness of just four centimetres. Impressively, it tapers off to a single centimetre on all three visible edges. But does the slick presentation diminish the sink’s function? Not at all.

Ell gets its ultra-thin profile thanks to a 60-centimetre-wide bladed Corian grate covering a reservoir that helps to funnel the water down the drain with no excess splashing. The sink-counter combination, available in Corian, marble or stone, spans up to three metres, and multiple grates can be installed together – ideal for public bathrooms.

It can also be wall mounted on discreet brackets, or supported by a complementary cabinet system with an X‑shaped towel rack at one end. To up the glam factor just a touch, a space can be inserted between the counter and the back wall, to accommodate a strip of LEDs.

About the team: Established in 1973 by the Benedini family, Agape is a leader in con­tem­por­ary bathroom furniture for residential and hospitality environments. Benedini Associati, a multidisciplinary family-run studio, is focused on architecture and technical products. Andrés Jost is an industrial designer based in Barcelona, and Diego Cisi is an architect and designer based in Mantua, Italy.

What the jury said: “When a product as common as a bathroom sink has people talking, you know it’s achieved a level of curiosity and uniqueness that will make it a success.” – Anna Simone

Designers: Benedini Associati, Diego Cisi and Andrés Jost

Manufacturer: Agape, Italy

Winner: Interior Products
2016 AZ Awards Winner: Best Interior Product

With edges that are a mere one centimetre thick, the Ell is likely the sleekest, slickest bathroom sink you’ve ever seen.

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