The BCFA began 2021 by celebrating our first BCFA Member of the Month, we spoke with Jay Phillips, Managing Director Hansgrohe UK & Ireland.
With thier brands AXOR and hansgrohe, the Hansgrohe Group based in Schiltach, Germany, enjoys a reputation as a leader in innovation, design and quality within the bathroom and kitchen industries. their 120-year history is marked by innovations such as the first hand-held shower with multiple spray types, the first wall bar with sliding shower rail and the first pull-out kitchen tap. Committed to developing environmentally conscious products that reduce water consumption, Hansgrohe offers innovative solutions that help preserve water and energy without compromising on comfort or design.
Hansgrohe holds more than 15,000 active property rights and invests heavily in regulation approvals, which gives specifiers peace of mind when selecting Hansgrohe and AXOR ranges. With 33 subsidiaries and 22 sales offices supplying products to more than 140 countries, the Hansgrohe Group is a reliable partner to its customers around the world. Both AXOR and Hansgrohe products have won numerous design awards, including more than 600 design prizes since 1974.
Please could you tell me about how you collaborate with designers?
For over 25 years, AXOR has been a pioneer in the development and production of avant-garde designer products for luxury bathrooms and kitchens. Throughout its history, AXOR has championed a design-led approach, working in collaboration with some of the most renowned designers across the globe. From the ground-breaking classic Starck taps designed by Philippe Starck in the 1980s which helped pave the way for more individualised bathroom design, through to the original concepts from the likes of Antonio Citterio, Jean-Marie Massaud, Patricia Urquiola and Barber & Osgerby. AXOR has consistently developed innovative and design-led ways to experience water and create inspiration for our design partners.
Do you also offer individualisation and bespoke services?
Understanding that every person is unique, we enable individuals to put their own stamp on their bathrooms by allowing for maximum personalisation within our product ranges and services. FinishPlus, across Hansgrohe and AXOR product ranges, gives a huge variety of exclusive surface finishes to choose from, meaning there is something for every project and every style. Other specifical surfaces are available if technically feasible upon request.
Taking personalisation a step further, our AXOR Signature service transforms designer products into personal pieces. Giving users the ability to have their signature or initials inscribed onto showers or mixers, products can be completely tailored to fit into design schemes. Ideal for commercial projects or as bespoke gifts, this exclusive AXOR service completely meets the needs of the individual.
To make things as easy as possible, we also offer bespoke fittings to ensure products completely fit the space. Whether it is the distance from the wall to the washbasin that necessitates an extension, or a mixer handle height that needs modification, our AXOR master craftsmen finish everything by hand in the factory to ensure unique specifications can be met. We have invested significantly into our manufacturing facilities, meaning we not only offer a wide range of beautiful finishes, but many of our ranges are now available on short lead times, which we know is an important factor for our stakeholders. Saving both money and time, this gives specifiers peace of mind from the inception of the project, working to tight timelines and schedules.
Could you tell me about the finishes you offer for your Hansgrohe and AXOR products?
When opting for FinishPlus, users are guaranteed to enjoy all the quality features they have come to expect from Hansgrohe. Offering the ultimate in bathroom customisation, FinishPlus provides modern alternatives to the classic chrome standard, elevating bathroom design and welcoming individuality. From the basin mixers and shower pipes, through to overhead showerheads and valves, we ensure all brassware parts are available in one consistent colour. Alternatively, the flexibility of FinishPlus means contrasting finishes can be contrasted for a truly unique visual effect. For hansgrohe, FinishPlus comprises five colour options that suit a range of bathroom styles, including Matt Black, Matt White, Gold Optic, Bronze and Black Chrome. For AXOR, there are 15 exclusive surfaces to choose between, from Polished Nickel to Black Chrome and Brushed Red Gold.
All FinishPlus surfaces offer exceptional robustness, durability and scratch-resistance; the result of the exhaustive research and development of the wider Hansgrohe Group. Produced in our state-of-the-art PVD (physical vapor deposition) chambers, the surfaces are hand-finished by expert technicians. Brushed or polished until immaculately smooth, they offer the perfect finishing touch to any luxury bathroom. Since the finishes are manufactured at our own plant, all products can be reproduced in the same surface finish for up to 15 years after purchase, giving specifiers and all stakeholders peace of mind.
Could you tell me about your WRAS, KIWA accreditations and BREEAM approvals?
As a German manufacturer, Hansgrohe delivers German performance and engineering backed by UK regulations; continuing to set the industry bar for the number of water-regulated approved products on the market from recognised approval bodies WRAS, KIWA and NSF. We pride ourselves on ensuring our products meet national standards of safety and quality, ensuring suitability for commercial and residential installation across the UK.
We have an extended list of approved basin and kitchen mixers, concealed and exposed mixers, bath fillers, hand showers and diverter controls to ensure maximum design choice. We acknowledge the importance of compliance and how this links to a larger objective to continue innovating and providing quality products that last. It is for this reason that we heavily invest in certification, with over £2m spent globally each year. This is a significant investment for Hansgrohe, but we recognise the importance of approvals in saving specifiers time and money when developing projects.
We also facilitate BREEAM ratings by providing sustainable brassware alternatives that allow for responsible consumption in commercial and residential properties. Our flow restrictors and Eco-Smart technology meet new water consumption regulations and ensure water usage is restricted without performance being compromised.
Tell us about your latest showering innovation?
With the aim of helping people enjoy the beauty and simplicity of water, our Rainfinity collection represents a new benchmark in modern shower design, marrying superior engineering with innovative technology and contemporary finishes. Offering the ultimate in showering indulgence, Rainfinity is truly unique.
The bathroom is increasingly the place to unwind and relax. With functional, clinical aesthetics being replaced by spaces that enhance wellbeing, bathroom design is having to adapt to meet the demand. Due to its large circular showerhead and adaptable wall connection, Rainfinity offers the flexibility to envelop the entire body in soft cocooning water. The innovative wall connection allows the showerhead to be tilted between ten and thirty degrees, eliminating the need for a conventional shower arm, making for a more comfortable showering experience and enabling the user to keep the head and face dry if required. The shower experience is further enhanced by Rainfinity’s slightly concave surface and its diffused arrangement of jet disc holes. This combination ensures spray isn’t limited to the head and shoulders but softly showers the entire body with aerated droplets.
International, industry-wide recognition for Rainfinity confirms its quality and function are unparalleled. Its success in being awarded the ‘Best of Best’ Red Dot Award in 2019, iF Design Award 2019 and ‘Best of Best’ Iconic Award 2020, heralds Rainfinity as the shower range for discerning wellness and design enthusiasts.
What should we look forward to from Hansgrohe in 2021?
2021 is an exciting year for us as a company. We mark an important birthday of 120 years. As we celebrate our rich heritage of design, innovation and quality, we also look forward to what drives us forward as a business – a brand that delivers unsurpassed experiences with water. Alongside this milestone, we will be launching inspiring and pioneering products that push boundaries of technical innovation and design, whilst encouraging responsible consumption with eco-smart measures. For AXOR, 2021 also brings two new major designer collaborations that will further emphasise the brand’s commitment to creating avant-garde works of art for the bathroom.
Since 1901, we have continuously pushed the boundaries of bathroom design and manufacturing to create products that combine intelligent functionality, outstanding design and enduring quality. The same ethos exists today. Saving our customers time and money, we offer all our stakeholders complete peace of mind. We remain dedicated to providing the highest quality products and the best possible customer service.