Hansgrohe continues to shower the region with innovative products that are at the cutting edge in bathroom technology
Hansgrohe is the premium brand for bathroom and kitchen fixtures, showers and shower systems as well as thermostat and plumbing technology. Winners of numerous awards throughout the world, the brand’s products stand for modern technologies, innovative design and a superlative level of functional quality.
Middle East Interiors spoke to Dirk Schilmoeller, sales and marketing manager of the Middle East and North Africa, Hansgrohe, on new trends and latest innovations.
What innovative products have you introduced to the Middle East this year?
At Cityscape 2012 in Abu Dhabi, Hansgrohe launched two new innovative products, the PuraVida Electronic kitchen mixer and the Raindance Lift shower panel. Both products are equipped with Hansgrohe EcoSmart technology to control the water volume.
The PuraVida Electronic kitchen mixer was designed in conjunction with Phoenix Design, award winning designers Andreas Haug and Tom Schönherr. The raised pivoting spout makes kitchen work easy. The LED ring on the circumference changes colour from blue to red to give a visual indication of the temperature.
The Raindance Lift showerpanel allows the height of the shower to be adjusted depending on the height of the person having a shower and therefore guarantees a pleasurable shower experience for tall, small, young and older people alike.
What are the current trends in bathroom design?
At Hansgrohe we see there being two current bathroom trends, individualisation and functionality.
The individualisation of the bathroom is a key trend in bathroom design. For example, The Axor Bouroullec collection allows fittings and elements in the collection to be combined in different ways with the various wash basin models available in the collection.
Functionality is another key trend. As we know, each home has different requirements, and the bathroom is no exception. The mixer, for example, has a wide array of uses – from washing hands to filling up water bottles. To help consumers select the ideal mixer, Hansgrohe has created a simple principle which is called the Comfort Zone, a collection of mixers in various sizes that allows further flexibility and freedom.
Axor Starck: Modern and minimalistic
What products do you predict will do well here?
We’ve launched a number of successful products in the Middle East region. The Axor Citterio collection has proven extremely popular within the hospitality sector. Hansgrohe recently equipped the Park Hyatt Hotel, Saddiyat Island, Abu Dhabi with this collection.
It is a timeless, classic collection developed in cooperation with internationally renowned designer and architect Antonio Citterio. The mixers in the collection are intricately designed to play out the contrasting interaction of an array of square and curved shapes.
The Axor Starck collection is another popular collection in the Middle East, this collection of bathroom fittings is impactful with its slender form, clear functionality and world-renowned design. The collection is modern and minimalistic.
We wanted to reinvent showering pleasure for our consumers with the Raindance Select 150 hand shower. The Select function is a new feature that allows you to switch conveniently between the three jet types at the touch of a button.
We predict the Hansgrohe Raindance Lift shower panel to do well in the Middle East Market because it ensures our consumers and their families continued showering pleasure.
Hansgrohe also noticed a huge growth in mobile technology taking place across the UAE and so developed its Hansgrohe@Home iPhone application. This innovative application allows our consumers to plan their washbasins from the comfort of their own home.
Tell us about the sustainability initiative taken by the company.
Hansgrohe’s sustainability initiative is important for the Middle East and in particular the UAE, with Abu Dhabi claiming the highest per capita water consumption rate in the world in 2010. To improve water management and water efficiency, Hansgrohe has developed a range of technologies such as the Hansgrohe EcoSmart for our mixers and showers.
All Hansgrohe wash basin mixers are fitted with an EcoSmart aerator, which provides a flow of no more than five litres per minute – irrespective of the water pressure. Mixers without an aerator have a water consumption of more than 13 litres per minute. That is far too much water just to wash your hands.
The water flow in our EcoSmart showers is also up to 60 per cent lower than in traditional showers, irrespective of water pressure restricting water consumption to a maximum of six litres of water per minute.
Furthermore, Hansgrohe offers an online savings calculator which demonstrates the environmental benefits and cost savings offered by the pioneer EcoSmart technology. Users can visit our new website for more information at www.hansgrohe-middleeast.com.
In this region, is your primary audience the retail consumer or the project business?
Over the past months we have seen a strong growth in the two main sales channels, the retail and the project business. Even during the global economic crisis, we have been very successful in the project business. We have won some remarkable projects in the region from Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi to the Qatar Pearl and Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. On the retail side we have seen strong demand from individual homeowners who are looking for top quality products that are made in Germany. Our individual bathroom collections from the Axor range which are created in cooperation with some of the world’s most successful designers like Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio and Patricia Urquiola have been very well received. These collections are as individual and different as people themselves, and offer multiple styles: from lively, charming living rooms/bathrooms to nature-inspired havens of peace.
What major projects have Hansgrohe been involved with in the Middle East?
Hansgrohe has won many awards for their impeccable work and the Middle East is no exception. In the region, we have equipped numerous prestigious projects with the finest of fittings to reflect the grandeur of these projects, including Masdar City in Abu Dhabi which Hansgrohe fitted with its Raindance EcoSmart range, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Marina Towers in Beirut and the Clock Tower in Mecca.
How is the company doing in this region and what are its plans for the future?
Hansgrohe has been extremely successful in the region and we will continue to expand our flagship store network in key countries such as Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. We want to ensure the Hansgrohe brand is accessible to homeowners that look for the best products for their bathroom and want to enhance their lifestyle. In addition we are also expanding with our own organization in the region this year.
This being said, the UAE still represents a big part of Hansgrohe’s business in the region and it will continue to do so.