Sunday, 19 October 2014

Germany 2014: Part 2

Hansgrohe Aquademie in Schiltach 

 Showerworld entrance

 Showerworld dressing room

 Axor Front shower in Showerworld

 Axor Nendo Lampshower in Showerworld

 Axor Massuad in Showerworld


 Some of our group in Schiltach


 Shower displays in the Aquademie

 Puravida display in the Aquademie

 Puravida display in the Aquademie

 Axor Citterio display in the Aquademie

 Axor Citterio display in the Aquademie

 Axor Urquiola & Nendo display in the Aquademie

 Axor Massuad display in the Aquademie

 Axor Starck Organic display in the Aquademie

 Axor Urquiola display in the Aquademie

Axor Urquiola display in the Aquademie

Axor Starck Organic display in the Aquademie

 Axor Starck Organic display in the Aquademie

 Hansgrohe 'Select' display in the Aquademie

After spending 3 fabulous nights in Munster with Kaldewei it was time to move onto the Black Forest to visit Hansgrohe and Duravit. 

We travelled 6 long hours on a bus with a pleasant, unscheduled stop over in Cologne for lunch and the next day woke to the most beautiful view I could ever have imagined. It is clear to me why the Germans focus so much on sustainability and being green, because they are completely engulfed in this amazing environment that needs to be maintained.

Hans Grohe was inspired by the Black Forest surroundings and had a passion for water which encouraged his manufacture of tin showers in 1901, that's over 110 years ago!
Even today the Hansgrohe company is still owned by the Grohe family.

Our first day at Hansgrohe included a 'Shower World' experience. When initially reading this on the itinerary I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive. However, upon entering this area my doubts were completely squashed. The rooms were set up like some of the most luxurious bathrooms I've seen and we were lucky enough to test them all out.
My excitement at finding the brand new Nendo LampShower was visible, I think I may have squealed with joy.

We even got to try the AXOR Shower Heaven which is a massive 1m x 1m square ceiling shower panel with lights and different spray settings plus the set-up included body jets. This experience was out of this world, I can't emphasis enough how amazing it feels to be standing under a shower that pumps out 33 litres per minute. Maybe standing under a waterfall would come close.

I would also like to mention at this stage that all of the water in 'Shower World' is 100% recycled and used to flush the toilets throughout the Hansgrohe Aquademie.

After 'Shower World' and product training by very professional and knowledgeable Hansgrohe staff we ventured out into the factories. Hansgrohe are the complete embodiment of a 'green company', not only are their products water and energy saving with a long service life but they make an effort to use renewable energies within the company, sophisticated recycling systems and heat recovery in production. And walking through the factory you could not see one person slacking off or without a huge smile on their face. The workers are passionate about the company and love their jobs.

All Schiltach residents will know at least one person who works or has worked at Hansgrohe. This company has been a wonderful source of employment and economy for this stunning little town. 

During training we were lucky enough to be shown some new products including the very cool Axor Starck V and new Select range. Select is going to change the way we control our showers, it is a revolutionary push button system that I think will be everywhere in the years to come. Can't wait to get these products in Aus!

During the 10 day trip we sampled some of the most delicious food and beer Germany has to offer. One the most memorable was visiting one of the 5th oldest farm houses in the Black Forest, Klausenbauernhof to make our own Flammkuchen (Black Forest pizza-style cake) in their wood fired oven.

Hansgrohe also organised for us to do a day trip across the border into Strasbourg, France.
We spent the day doing a walking tour through the town, eating delicious French/German food and managed to squeeze in a little bit of shopping, of course! It was great to see during the 'free-time' almost every public bathroom had Hansgrohe tapware!

Klausenbauernhof farm house, Black Forest 

Klausenbauernhof farm house, Black Forest 

 Learning a bit about the Klausenbauernhof farm house, Black Forest 

Making a Flammkuchen

 Making a Flammkuchen

 Enjoying our Flammkuchen, inside the Klausenbauernhof farm house

 Hansgrohe History in the Aquademie

 Axor Starck bathrooms in the Aquademie

 Axor Starck V during training

  The actual view from my hotel room window, Black Forest

 Strasbourg, France train station

Strasbourg, France train station

 Strasbourg, France

 Walking tour of Strasbourg, France

Walking tour of Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France cathedral

Strasbourg, France cathedral

Walking tour of Strasbourg, France

Walking tour of Strasbourg, France

Lunch in Strasbourg, France

Outdoor basin in the Black Forest

Photos © kaety/Candana

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Germany 2014: Part 1

 The group at Kaldewei, Ahlen

 Ellipso Duo freestanding bath in gloss black

 Kaldewei's Christian Spieker welcomes us to the KKC 

 Checking out the new 'Meisterstuck' with 'Comfort Select' electronic touch control

 Conoflat shower surface in matt black

Conoduo freestanding bath in matt black

Every year Bathe Australia take a group to tour their German suppliers factories and to see what is new and exciting in the world of bathroomware.
This year I was lucky to attend and over the next few posts I'll be sharing with you all that was discovered, learnt and eaten in those 10 glorious days!


We began our German adventure in Munster, also known as the bicycle capital of Germany. This beautiful town is home to approx 48,500 students and we were informed that every person has at least 2 bikes. There were literally bikes everywhere!

We made daily (short) trips to Ahlen for Kaldewei and were greeted each time by a stunning enamel-clad building and the smiling faces of the Kaldewei staff.

The most astounding thing I discovered about Kaldewei was their 0% waste policy. 
Nothing, nichts, not one little piece is wasted. They recycle all product i.e. glass and steel and even re-use the taphole/overflow cut-outs for waste covers etc. Very eco-friendly!

Wandering through the factory was an eye-opening experience for me. The precision and skill that goes into producing a Kaldewei bath or shower tray is unbelievable and yet completely understandable, considering they have a 30 year warranty on their product.

Watching the cold press deep-drawing process was probably my favourite part of the factory tour. Seeing a 2.9mm thick piece of steel (overall thickness of the bath material is 3.5mm including enamel) deep drawn just by pressure (these pieces are not heated up!) into the shape of a bath is just outstanding.

Unsurprisingly their sales in shower trays (a.k.a shower floors & shower surfaces) have rocketed and we are hoping the Australian market will embrace the shower trays soon. They are more hygienic and so much easier to clean than the traditional tile/grout combo. And with Kaldewei's colour options, you wont have any trouble matching your floors.

Kaldewei were kind enough to share some of their new products with us also. They've just launched their one-piece, no-seams freestanding bathtub. 'Meisterstuck', German for masterpiece. And what a masterpiece it is. Sleek lines and contemporary styling with all the advantages of the best bath material in the market, steel enamel.

The other exciting new Kaldewei development is 'Sound Wave'. We were utterly enthralled by this new gadget, it basically turns your bath tub into a giant speaker!
Once adding a 'Sound Wave' to your bath tub, connect your device via bluetooth and you can play whatever music you wish through the actual bath. This also means you get cool little vibrations in the surface of the water.
Everyone needs a Kaldewei bath. Everyone needs 'Sound Wave'.

Kaldewei will be launching some exciting things at ISH trade fair next year but unfortunately they were kept well under wraps. We will be sure to keep a close eye on any Kaldewei releases and keep you updated.

 Bicycle highway in Munster

 City walking tour through Munster

 City walking tour through Munster

 Dinner at brewery Pinkus Muller

Cologne cathedral

Photos © kaety/Candana
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