With its strong formal and material expression, the JK21 range of fittings by Italian bathroom specialist Zazzeri – inspired by its iconic Junko series – is big in the bathroom.

The JK21 tap features a bold insert, adding flair to its other, more subtle features such as the contoured nozzle, which seems to politely make space for an approaching hand

Turning heads: Zazzeri | News

The JK21 tap features a bold insert, adding flair to its other, more subtle features such as the contoured nozzle, which seems to politely make space for an approaching hand

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Described as ‘futuristic-looking’ at the time, the 1977 original Junko Mix tap has a presence that still turns heads, unlike other more kitsch design relics of the period. Named after its futurist inventor, Junko Enomoto, Junko Mix was one of the first mixer taps on the international market, by Italian bathroom specialist, Zazzeri. The Junko project introduced the possibility to control water flow and temperature with one hand, with a single lever tap; an idea that, at the time, represented such a technological leap it was more akin to magic than product design.

JK21 designer Fabrizio Batoni was inspired to reinterpret the curves and pillared base of Junko Enomoto’s original Junko Mix tap, seen above in cherry red and chrome, looking every bit the 70’s icon it would prove to be

Turning heads: Zazzeri | News

JK21 designer Fabrizio Batoni was inspired to reinterpret the curves and pillared base of Junko Enomoto’s original Junko Mix tap, seen above in cherry red and chrome, looking every bit the 70’s icon it would prove to be

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Fast forward to the late 2010s and bathroom faucet design has become all too predictable again. 40 years of design evolution for the single-lever mixer has resulted in an absence of the kind of personality that was so prominent in Junko. Last year, however, the company that first introduced the Junko Mix to the world, Zazzeri, decided it was time for another revolution. Autumn 2019 saw the birth of the Junko-inspired JK21 series. ‘For me, Junko Mix was a source of inspiration. I wanted to reinterpret a past project in a modern way and JK21 was conceived.’ reveals JK21’s creator, designer Fabrizio Batoni.


The pressure was on for the new JK21 faucet’s individuality to live up to the personality of its lineage. After all, this is a brand previously featured in the MOMA in New York – not bad for a bathroom tap


So, the pressure was on for the new JK21 faucet’s individuality to live up to the personality of its lineage – after all, this is a brand previously featured in the MOMA in New York, not bad for a bathroom tap – without sacrificing Zazzeri’s trademark simplicity and functionality. As Batoni explains, ‘The JK21 collection was a complex and exciting challenge which led us to obtain forms characterised by strong personalities.’

It’s with a beautiful simplicity that JK21’s 5-piece construction of machined steel components come together. Totalling much more than the sum of its parts

Turning heads: Zazzeri | News

It’s with a beautiful simplicity that JK21’s 5-piece construction of machined steel components come together. Totalling much more than the sum of its parts

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The genesis of JK21’s personality is in the minimal simplicity of both its construction and form. A pillar-like base is topped with a reassuringly weighted ‘capital’ handle that sends confident control into the user’s hand at the flick of a wrist, while an extruding contoured nozzle mimics the shape of the hand, inviting it into place and thus, creating an instinctual relationship between the two. Meanwhile, a playful and customisable insert sits atop the handle like a bold pocket square peeking out of James Bond’s tuxedo. Refined elegance, but with a knowing nod of acknowledgement to its origins.

In replicating the faucet’s contoured nozzle, the JK21 series’ handshower handle ensures a hold that feels as natural as shaking hands. While the back section reassuringly fits into place without awkward adjustment

Turning heads: Zazzeri | News

In replicating the faucet’s contoured nozzle, the JK21 series’ handshower handle ensures a hold that feels as natural as shaking hands. While the back section reassuringly fits into place without awkward adjustment

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Until recently, JK21 stood alone with the task of livening up ceramics all by itself. But the new decade has seen the birth of a whole syndicate of siblings, all of them in perfect communication with the form and magical presence of the original range, seeming to blend into the background minimalism of the interior. Simply by removing the tap’s nozzle component, for example, Batoni has created a handle with a completely unconnected feel, as if a desk paperweight has mysteriously found its way onto the side of the bath. While another subconscious invitation encourages the hand to feel its path into the hand-shower handle, itself replicating the JK21 tap’s contoured nozzle, before repositioning into a wall-mounted unit with a satisfyingly guided clink.

When separated from the nozzle, JK21’s detached handles, seen here used for shower, kitchen or bath control, sit proudly silent. Their disassociation from the form of other elements gives an alluring sense of independence

Turning heads: Zazzeri | News

When separated from the nozzle, JK21’s detached handles, seen here used for shower, kitchen or bath control, sit proudly silent. Their disassociation from the form of other elements gives an alluring sense of independence

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All the new, collection-extending products share the original faucet’s sleek, uncomplicated design language, but when creating satisfying functionality requires the latest tech as well, JK21 isn’t one to shy away from comparisons. The ceiling-mounted, telescopic shower system with chromotherapeutic lighting and rainfall, waterfall and nebulisation functions sits comfortably alongside its modern rivals, but you get the feeling the classy JK21 would do so without shouting about it.

Although inspired by a 70’s design, JK21 isn’t an antique reproduction. The chromotherapy telescopic showers feature the kind of tech and multiple modern spray functions that consumers have come to expect

Turning heads: Zazzeri | News

Although inspired by a 70’s design, JK21 isn’t an antique reproduction. The chromotherapy telescopic showers feature the kind of tech and multiple modern spray functions that consumers have come to expect

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Simple and stylish minimalism are key components of the JK21 collection’s personality, but it’s with customisation that the line’s unique adaptability really shines. With seven different steel finishes and a verifiable colour wheel of insert options, each piece can effortlessly reflect the character of its owner or location. The series’ enhanced suitability for hospitality and/or branded settings becomes clear with the additional option of engraving the pin with personal graphics.

With seven different metal finishes complemented by a metallic, colourful lacquered steel or natural stone insert, there are over 100 options of JK21 faucet instantly available

Turning heads: Zazzeri | News

With seven different metal finishes complemented by a metallic, colourful lacquered steel or natural stone insert, there are over 100 options of JK21 faucet instantly available

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Zazzeri has a history of bold product releases standing the test of time, thanks to an ability to balance personality without sacrificing functionality, and by always keeping things stylishly simple. But constructed from corrosion-resistant steel and designed to reduce water consumption, the environmentally-conscious JK21 collection could break ground on a new generation in faucet design, and earn its place in the Junko dynasty.

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