Last week, Kohler opened the doors to their inaugural Kohler Experience Centre in New York’s Flatiron district. Designers lined up to attend the unveiling – the first of a series of new Kohler Experience Centres to open this year.
Occupying a 10,000 foot space, the global flagship is divided into a series of kitchen and bathroom vignettes, interactive displays allowing visitors to use and experience products, a private bathing space AND an art installation, demonstrating Kohler’s commitment to the arts and curated by Kohler’s John Michael Kohler Arts Centre.
More like an expansive home than a showroom, president and CEO David Kohler explained “The concept was created with both customer segments in mind to eliminate the chaos of choice and simplify what can otherwise be, at times, a challenging process.”
Interspersed with these product focused vignettes are cleverly presented displays of Kohler’s extensive bathroom product range where visitors can immerse themselves in the decision making experience; a tapware wheel – matching fixtures, finishes and colours; private showering spaces – where you can book your own appointment in the spa-like retreat to trial the showers and baths first-hand, the perfect ‘try before you buy’ bathroom.
experience! And collections of complementary basins and products – side by side to provide plenty of bathroom design inspiration.
As a global leading bathroom brand working closely with architects and designers internationally, the showroom also displays fixtures and fittings compliant with international standards, plus an on-site international bathing expert is on hand who can advise on plumbing regulations in different countries. The inclusion of video-conferencing technology to communicate with local Kohler associates around the globe ensures this is a truly international showroom.
“For the first time ever, design professionals will have hands-on access to Kohler’s global product suite,” David Kohler explained. “The beauty of this is twofold: We’re streamlining the specification process for design professionals working on projects around the world and also creating a design test lab where we can gather invaluable intel on which products from our global offering resonate in different markets, helping us stay at the forefront of design trends.”
The art exhibition includes select pieces from the John Michael KOhler Arts Centre in Kohler, Wisconsin, featuring elements from Babel by Alabama artist Jim Neel. Babel was created during Neel’s 2008 Arts/Industry residency at the Kohler Co. Pottery.
New York is the first of nine KEC locations due to open this year in major cities including Bangkok, Hong Kong, New Delhi, London, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore, and Taipei.