Factory Tours are part and parcel of our job as interior designers and our recent Hansgrohe Factory Tour was one of the most interesting & informative we’ve experienced yet.
Indulgent power showers and a great mattress, for most hotel guests these are the fundamentals of a successful hotel bedroom – and their importance can’t be underestimated. Amazing bathroom interiors with great showers really can enhance the guest experience and differentiate one hotel from another.
Regularly designing bathrooms for global hotels groups and residential clients means we’re always on the lookout for inspirational showers and water products that we can work into our designs for fabulous bathroom experiences. Even in the smallest hotels or homes, we love nothing more than getting creative around the bathroom.
Whether we’re designing tranquil sanctuaries, or compact & bijoux wet rooms, there are a number of fabulous manufacturers of bathrooms products and brassware that help make our job so much easier.
With something to suit every customer and budget, Hansgrohe is one brand that’s easy to specify for projects large and small. Their claim to be “revolutionising the way we use water” may seem far-fetched, however during our recent trip behind the scenes to the Hansgrohe Factory Tour in Schiltach, Germany it became clear that this is not a hollow marketing line.
Quality, technology, and striking design are always high on the Occa Design Team’s agenda and we weren’t disappointed with what we discovered – nor with the wonderful experience, our hosts Ross & Ben from Hansgrohe shared with us.
Our day began early on a sunny morning at the private lounge at Glasgow International Airport, where the Hansgrohe Embra private jet was waiting patiently to whisk us across the North Sea to the Black Forest.
On arrival, we were introduced to the local team and the Hansgrohe Factory Tour began as we were shown around their fascinating Water-Bath-Design Museum. This included a captivating journey through the past 100 years of bathing and bathrooms, complete with a bathroom set fully designed for each decade. Oh my! the bathrooms of the 70s – what was going on then?!
From the bathrooms of yesterday, we were then immersed in the stunning bathrooms of tomorrow, soaking in the technology and designs of the Hansgrohe and Axor ranges in the luxurious and spacious showroom known as the Aquadamie.
Walking around the Aquadamie was an inspirational delight as we tried and tested many of the trend-setting and high tech Hansgrohe and Axor products in sample room sets. Who knew there were so many parts that make up a shower head [70!] or that using air technology could enhance the shower experience quite so much?
A key part of the Hansgrohe Factory Tour for Team Occa was being shown around the high-tech manufacturing plant. We talked to the production team and watched the manufacturing process up close as we witnessed solid ingots of brass being transformed into stunning chrome polished taps. We were interested to discover just how important recycling processes and environmentally friendly technologies are to the ethos of the company and were all seriously impressed by the quality processes that ensure every single product is checked not only by precision machines but then by hand prior to being packaged.
A delicious lunch in the staff canteen was followed by yet another experience like no other on a typical interior design recci – Hansgrohe’s Shower World!
So now Ross’ suggestion that we bring our swimming costumes on the Tour started to make sense… not only can you see and touch showers and taps in the beautiful showroom, at Aquadamie in Shiltack Hansgrohe has their very own experiential shower attraction. Here you stand under and test every one of their showers personally to understand the differences between them and discover what makes a memorable showering experience. Dressed in our bathing suits, Team Occa entered the wonderful world of showers to experience first-hand how each one worked and how it felt. From massive rain showers in the ceiling that pumped monsoon-like air & water, to the flow of therapeutic fountains, we marvelled at the many different options and experiences the product range could bring. Robes, towels, shampoo & hairdryers were all provided in the spa-like changing area, rounding off a wonderful experience.
As we headed back to the airport and into the beautiful blue skies above the Black Forest, the team reflected on the day and the benefits of seeing the manufacturing process close up, testing first-hand the product options available from Hansgrohe.
While not every design recci is quite so glamorous, observing how things are made during plant & factory visits is a vital part of our role as architectural & interior designers. Factory & supplier visits enable us to understand intimately the products and the manufacturing process and provide the opportunity to negotiate price and availability face to face with key staff. Informative visits such as this enable us to share the knowledge we acquire and teach our teams & clients about the benefits – or otherwise – of a particular brand or product. This, in turn, ensures we are confidently proposing the right products, best practice and best value on your job.
Thinking about taking some factory tours for your project? Discover the 5 key benefits of taking a factory tour with new suppliers.