“Form follows perfection” is AXOR’s brand philosophy. Along with exacting design and high-quality workmanship, however, the brand from the Hansgrohe Group also includes individual planning solutions for architects among its offerings. This is thanks, on the one hand, to the broad range of more than 2,000 products, and on the other to the stylistic diversity of the collections, which extend from classic to modern to avantgarde. Added to this AXOR is devoted to technical advancements that constitute a synthesis of high-tech and artisanal craftsmanship. Furthermore, the brand also offers various options for modification of its own products, which creates additional planning and creative scope for architects.
Alexander Russ: What does the AXOR brand stand for?
Stefan Hoske: AXOR stands for three core values: avantgarde, individualization and perfection. To achieve this, the brand has been working with the world’s best designers for decades. These include, for example, Philippe Starck, Jean-Marie Massaud, Phoenix Design and Barber & Osgerby, to name but a few. The results are true design classics such as, for example, the “AXOR Starck” collection, which is now 25 years old. Its archetypal shape, for which Philippe Starck took inspiration from timeworn water pumps, can undoubtedly be considered a design classic. Alongside this zest for the new, there are always high aspirations for quality. The AXOR collections are produced with the utmost craftsmanship. One example is the “AXOR FinishPlus” surfaces with an expert finishing to ensure that they boast not only depth of color and a reflective brilliance but are also highly scratchproof. This ensures the products’ tremendous longevity, with which we aim to do justice to the “Made in Germany” seal of quality.
You just mentioned the theme of individualization as one of AXOR’s core competences. Can you explain how the brand caters to the specific requirements of architects?
Stefan Hoske: With huge diversity as regards both the products and their designs. On top of this, the collections are all tailored to one another, which means there are any number of opportunities for combinations. The AXOR service also includes the option to modify the relevant collection to fit the interior design project in accordance with the architect’s wishes. All this is referred to as the “AXOR Signature” and it offers ample flexibility as regards the fit-out. The length of products can be adapted, for example, and there is also the option of adding lasered or printed bespoke lettering. Furthermore, PVD coatings in a wide variety of colors can be applied to all the AXOR products – even for orders of just one item!
What planning assistance does AXOR offer architects?
Stefan Hoske: First of all, there are classic tools such as our sales handbook or our individual brochures, which offer overviews of each collection. Naturally, digitization has meant some things have changed over the last ten years, which is why we of course also offer BIM data. Everything is available anytime on our website at “pro.hansgrohe.com”. We also use social media, including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest, plus there’s the AXOR newsletter. I think, though, that in spite of all the digital options, an analog experience is still very important for architects. In this sense our installed showrooms, where you can see products in direct use and which can serve as inspiration, are likewise very important.
Can you explain how architects convince their developers to opt for AXOR and cite a couple of projects by way of example?
Stefan Hoske: The key is actually the AXOR brand values I mentioned, such as outstanding design, options for individualization, and high-quality workmanship. The brand has a nicely coherent portfolio and offers very good service. For the Hafenpark development in Frankfurt, which made use of the “AXOR Citterio” and “AXOR Uno” collections in PVD Polished Black, it was the broad scope of the collection that was crucial, for example. At The Knast Hotel in Berlin, it was color that played the prime role, with the version chosen being the “AXOR Uno” collection in PVD Brushed Red Gold. And at Schloss Gartow, part of the Gräflich Bernstorff’sche Betriebe holdings, it was the mixture of color choices, the different options for combinations, and the design of the “AXOR Montreux” collection in PVD Brushed Brass that convinced the architect and developer.
At Stilwerk in Hamburg, you can see the AXOR products live. What consultancy services are provided for architects there?
Stefan Hoske: As I already mentioned, for architects it is generally very important to be able to see products for themselves and thus assess all the physical properties, and that’s something they can do at Stilwerk in Hamburg. There we showcase a broad range of popular designs, but you can also see very up-to-date collections such as “AXOR Edge”. Apart from that, there is also the option of sampling products for your own project and to see the different colors of the PVD coatings. Anyone who wants to can take away the documents they need for planning in paper form. This way, you save yourself all the effort of having to seek things out. At the same time, the AXOR showroom at Stilwerk is considered a meeting point for the architecture scene, so it regularly hosts events like the “AXOR-Branchentreff” industry gathering, where architects, property developers and tradespersons come together.
What is your role at AXOR and how are you able to support architects in day-to-day business?
Stefan Hoske: I am the Senior Consultant for Architecture and Design at AXOR, so my remit comprises extensive product advice on the themes of bathrooms and fittings. The themes and activities involved here are wide-ranging, of course. I offer on-site sampling all over Germany, for example, which means visiting architects in their studios where I can give them direct input for their projects. On top of that, there are talks, presentations, trend consultations, training for tradespersons and directing potential clients to the right AXOR partner.