German Companies You Should Know


Selina Denman , August 20th, 2009

Germany takes its design very seriously indeed. As early as 1919, when the Bauhaus was first established, Germany was exploring new ideas, pushing boundaries and shaping the evolution of design.

Founded by Walter Gropius, the world-famous Bauhaus was in existence until 1933 and became one of the most influential currents in modernist architecture and design. It profoundly impacted subsequent developments in all areas of design, most notably furniture – if you need proof, look to the Cantilever chair by Mart Stam or even the Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer.

Recognition of the importance of good design, and its impact on both culture and commerce, continues to pervade the German consciousness. The German Design Council, for example, is a non-profit foundation with, at present, over 140 members from business, design, associations and institutions.

All attach great importance to design as a tool for the creation of both social and economic values. The establishment of the International Design Center (IDZ) in Berlin, the “designcenter” in Stuttgart, and the Essen-based Design Zentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen, further demonstrates Germany’s commitment to the design cause.

Since the 1980s, a range of fundamentally different design approaches have characterised the German design aesthetic, making for a varied and interesting product offering. Here, we have invited a handful of German companies to introduce themselves, asking them to highlight their brand promise and unique selling points (USPs).

Teka Küchentechnik

Company background: Teka Küchentechnik is a German brand that offers a fully-integrated range of high-quality built-in kitchen appliances (ovens, hobs, hoods, microwaves, refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers), kitchen sinks and mixers. It has 38 subsidiaries worldwide and 26 factories, mainly in Germany and Spain.

Locations: An extensive sales network takes the Teka brand to every corner of the planet, supplying more than 125 countries in five continents. UAE customers and dealers are serviced from its office in Al Garhoud, Dubai, and for the rest of the GCC countries, from its office in Jebel Ali.

Who to talk to: Kim Felsmann, marketing manager, on +971 (0)4 2833047.

USPs: We cover all different product ranges, category- and price-wise, from the most innovative, modern and sophisticated products to models with basic features. Teka is amongst the leading sink and built-in kitchen appliance brands worldwide. We are the manufacturer, therefore we provide logistical and commercial support without any agent or intermediary, through our regional offices and network of official dealers. All of our products are manufactured under the highest European quality standards. We have our own team of qualified and fully trained engineers and technicians.

Best seller: Our best selling products are from the ‘Cooking line’. Amongst them, ovens: HA 900, HA 830; hoods: NC 90 glass, DBE 60 or 90; and hobs: VR 90 4G AI AL, HX 90 5G AI AL.

News: Our new 2009-2010 product catalogue will be available, with new product selections, at the end of summer. We are introducing the new Expression range of products, developed to create an experience that will stand the test of time.

With the new Model TRX 645, you will have all the power under your fingertips to control the heat of your hob with a Slider Touch Control function.



Hansgrohe

Company background: Hansgrohe was founded in Schiltach, Germany in 1901 by Mr. Hans Grohe. The company develops, manufactures and sells products related to sanitation technology, under four brand names. The Hansgrohe brand develops products ranging from showers to fittings for the bathroom and kitchen; Axor produces ‘designer’ collections for the ‘exclusive’ bathroom; Pharo offers top-of-the range shower and wellbeing systems; and Pontos is concerned with the sustainable use of water.

Locations: The Hansgrohe headquarters are still in Schiltach, while the Middle East and Africa region is serviced out of offices in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Who to talk to: Lina Varytimidou, marketing manager, Middle East and Africa.

USPs: To this day, Hansgrohe is a truly family business. Klaus Grohe, the youngest son of the company founder, has been head of the Supervisory Board since May 2008, after running the company for 33 years. The family tradition lives on with three of his sons: Richard, Philippe and Pierre Nicholas Grohe.

The company has been behind cutting-edge innovations ranging from the first automatic drainage and overflow equipment (1934) and the shower bar (1953), right up to grey water recycling systems (2001), Raindance AirPower Technology (2004) and water-saving EcoSmart showers (2007).

Best seller: Raindance Showers

News: Hansgrohe products can be found in the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building; in the Queen Mary II; in the Burj Dubai; and in the Turning Torso, Europe’s tallest residential building.

The company continues to work with internationally-renowned design greats such as Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio, Jean-Marie Massaud, Patricia Urquiola and Phoenix Design.



Hafele

Company background: Hafele is a privately-owned company that dates back to 1923. It has subsidiaries in over 30 countries, as well as 40 sales offices linked to Hafele headquarters in Germany. Our products and services include furniture fittings, architectural hardware and hotel locking solutions. Hafele Middle East is a highly-regarded partner to architects, interior designers, the woodworking and joinery industry, as well as property developers and contractors.

Locations: Hafele Middle East has been operational in the UAE for over 25 years and in more recent years has opened direct sales offices in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Talk to: Adam Taylor, general manager.

USPs: One of Hafele’s best assets is its staff. We employ an extensive range of qualified and experienced employees, for the joinery industry as well as the support of designers of large construction projects.

Hafele is a member of the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI) of the U.S.A. and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery (GAI) from the UK. Also strongly emphasised are the standards of BS EN and ANSI, as well as professional specification scheduling and master-keying.

Best seller: Dialock Hotel Locking Range, which features touchless card reading and has been used in many of the region’s five-star hotels. A new economical line was recently introduced with fewer features, to suit three- and four-star hotels. Our Startec brand of hardware for doors is also popular among specifers.

News: We will again be exhibiting at Big 5 in November, where we’ll launch a new luxury range of lever handle designs called ‘The Platinum Series’. Our strength for the future is ‘Hafele Functionality’, which is to demonstrate the benefit and use of our products in the environment we live and work in.



Dedon

Company background: Dedon is a world-leading manufacturer of exclusive outdoor furniture. Within only a few years, the company, which was founded in 1990 by the former professional football player Bobby Dekeyser, revolutionised the outdoor furniture market with its innovative designs. Dedon furniture is created by international designers, produced according to German standards of quality, and manufactured by hand, by braiding artisans on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. Every piece of furniture embodies a combination of modern technology and century-old craftsmanship.

Locations: Dedon is represented in over 80 countries and has showrooms in Barcelona, Paris, Hong Kong, Vienna, Milan, Hamburg, Antwerp and Monaco.

Who to talk to: Angel Salvador, on +34 93 208 0903 or angel@dedon.es.

USPs: Each piece is unique; a handmade original. Dedon furniture is not only rugged and long-lasting, it is also very comfortable, washable, extremely durable and easy to clean. The fabric that makes all this possible is made from a polyethylene-based synthetic fiber.

Best seller: The Summer Cloud Collection. The classic sun lounger takes on a new, innovative face with the Summer Cloud collection from Dedon. Summer Cloud offers 360° use: sun longer and sun top are connected to one another and – an absolute novelty – can be swivelled and set entirely independently of each other.

Another best seller is the Seashell Collection. Open, light shapes and breezy outlines are merged with comfort, stackability and sturdiness in the new Seashell Collection. This creates the idea of a refuge that offers a sense of complete protection. All elements of the Seashell collection are stackable and suited for large outdoor spaces, such as restaurants, pool areas and terraces, as well as for indoor areas at home.



Dornbracht

Company background: Back in 1950, the family-run firm, Dornbracht, was born. Today, it’s a market leader in the high-quality design of taps and accessories for the bathroom and kitchen. In 1969, Dornbracht launched the first ever designer fitting on the market – the Armatur 2000 – thereby blazing a trail for a completely new market segment in the area of bathroom design.

Locations: Dornbracht products can be found in leading high-end ceramic sanitaryware showrooms and with premium kitchen dealers.

Who to talk to: The Middle East regional office can be contacted at dornbrachtme@dornbracht.com

USPs: The confluence of factors that sets any product apart from others is a mosaic picture. For Dornbracht it’s the quality of the product, the commitment to design detail and the attention to the service offered (from pre-sales to after-sales) that guarantees traditional values. All Dornbracht products are 100% ‘made in Germany’.

Bestseller: The Tara range, which has just been refined, is among the most popular, thanks to its archetypal formal expression and timeless design. Architectonic solutions for a natural water experience are the Balance Modules, including RainSky E and RainSky M.

Also popular is the rather traditional Madison and the MEM range, which brings natural, flowing water into the bathroom via a simple stream of water, and last, but not least, the Lulu range, introduced in 2005.

News: At this year’s ISH in Germany, Dornbracht introduced a new lifestyle-oriented series in the form of Supernova. Supernova is a fixture of high sculptural quality which is reminiscent of precision-worked crystal.

Supernova is available for all areas of application: washbasin, bathtub, shower and bidet.



Rono Interiors

Company background: Rono Interiors was established in Dubai under the guidance of international interior and furniture designer Chris Hodge.

To complement the beautiful villas and apartments being built in Dubai, by world-class architects and builders, Rono Interiors felt it was necessary to also establish a presence in Dubai, to offer the best that the kitchen furniture industry had to offer.

Our German-made range of bespoke kitchen furniture reflects modern European tastes for clean, uncluttered lines, using bold colours and interesting wood veneers. As well as being concerned about the aesthetic qualities of our furniture, we are equally concerned about the ergonomic properties of our layouts. All of our designers take a keen interest in cooking, so we like to use the most up-to-date cooking and refrigeration appliances, which also happen to be German.

Who to talk to: Chris Hodge, showroom manager and senior designer.

Locations: Rono Interiors has a showroom at the Best Homes Business Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road, between the 2nd and 3rd interchange.

USPs: Rono also offers a complete remodelling and fit-out service, so you only need to hand us the front door key and let us know when you want the work completed!

Best seller: We are most proud of the handle-less, Italian inspired furniture in organic, neutral colours; it is easy to live with but still offers the ‘wow’ factor.

News: A fantastic new range of bedroom and living room products will be launched in the next three months.


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