When our Design Team was first invited on the Hansgrohe factory trip to Germany – on a private jet may I add, yes a private jet – I couldn’t believe our luck! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and for the first few weeks of this being the hot topic of conversation in the office, I refused to believe it was actually going ahead. Even arriving at Farnborough airport with typical gloomy, temperamental, British weather I was still on tenterhooks, thinking that the flight would get cancelled!
We travelled in style right from the start, having dressed to impress in our matching white tops, we were transported just 100 metres to the jet where we proceeded to do our ‘casual’ stroll up the few steps…it certainly beats the 333 London bus to Streatham!
Before we took off we had been pre-warned the flight could be a little bumpy due to turbulence, but it wasn’t anything a complimentary Kit-Kat couldn’t overcome! The flight took no more than an hour and a half, and before we knew it we had left a gloomy grey England and landed in the luscious Black Forest in Germany.
We arrived at Shower World and entered the Hansgrohe Museum and began watching a video on the company’s history. I learnt how it grew from humble beginnings to a global industry leader and that the Hansgrohe staff are the most pivotal aspect to the company’s successful growth since its formation. This is enforced by a strong sense of community and passion in the product they are producing, which is visible not only in the video but through all the staff that were part of our tour.
Most people can’t say they have ‘tested’ out showers but someone’s got to do it and we weren’t complaining! It was quite a surreal experience having only just met the other tour members and then a few hours later sharing a shower, but weirdly it felt like another business meeting!
We then headed over to the Spray Lab where we learnt about the technical mechanisms in a shower head and how they create various shower experiences such as rain fall and air massage. They demonstrated how the water pressure affects the shower water and with added air, it creates more directional power without the need for strong water pressure.
Our day ended with the Axor bathroom exhibition, showing bathrooms across the decades. It was really interesting to see how technology had developed over time with various sets portraying each decade in an interior décor to suit. My favourite was the soft pastel blue bathroom with minimal details, not that I’d be brave enough to spec it in my own house!
We left the museum that day with a complimentary goodie bag including our cheesy group photo (see below), Hansgrohe towel, Hansgrohe flip flops and a top of the range Hansgrohe shower head which has gone down very well in my house hold. That evening we were wined and dined in the hotel Adler, St. Roman which was a great opportunity to get to know the team better, luckily sharing a shower earlier had already broken the ice! The night ended in some fancy dress challenges between myself and Maddy, which she won hands down.
Despite not going to bed until the early hours we were up bright and early the next day to continue our Hansgrohe tour. First stop was the Axor faucet factory West in Schiltach where we got to see the production side, “From the brass bar to the design faucet”. It was fascinating to see the large machinery at work but also slightly scary, like a scene from the movie iRobot. The second factory we visited that day was the “How to create shower pleasure XXL from 70 single pieces” where we learnt about the Manufacturing of hoses and shower sets and the plastic elements to the production.
The trip ended with a lovely lunch in Offenburg and after an action packed 2 days we hopped back onto our private Jet, full of Hansgrohe knowledge and a very interesting experience!
Big thank you to James and Ben for inviting us on such an amazing trip, and thanks to the rest of the Hansgrohe team who made it so memorable.