Glen Raven Custom Fabrics introduces the industry’s first awning and shade fabrics with recycled content....
Home » articles » products » Fixed & Fitted
24 May 2012
Noken’s Future Bathroom
Spanish bathroom specialist Noken redefines the modern water experience now and beyond writes Yvonne Xu.
Where do the world's best bathroom fittings come from? Perhaps Germany. Perhaps Italy. But surely never was Spain a strong contender in this market. However, Noken, an 11-year-old specialist in sanitary ware and bathroom fittings, is proving to be a Villarreal-based exception to the tradition. Product Manager Jimmy D'Heer tells us the history and philosophy that distinguish the company.
"Spain was not famous for taps, fittings or sanitary ware; Italy was – because of design – and Germany was – because they are so technical and have big brands in the market. We thought, we have Italy on the left and Germany on the right, we need to do something which is neither Italian nor German. So let's not be all about function or all about design, let us try to merge design and function – that's how it all started really, the merging of form and function."
In 2003, the Porcelanosa Group, famous for ceramics and tiling products, launched Noken to redefine the personal water experience to serve all segments of the market. A respected supplier to the royal family in the UK, Noken has also forged strong relationships with retail and project clients. The secret to their success, D'Heer says, is that the company keeps abreast of the latest trends, research and development through the years. In 2009, recognising that the bathroom had evolved from being a functional space to a lifestyle environment, the company started engaging leading designers and architects (whom they call Water Designers) to design whole bathroom concepts.
"3 years ago we started looking for an interior designer knowing that the bathroom is not just about faucets and mixers anymore, but about interior design. We found Simone Micheli, who did the famous i-SUITE hotel in Rimini Italy. He was the right person at the time and the Lounge range is our first concept that is still doing very well," shares D'Heer.
Sustainability has also become a big part of Noken's philosophy. Water saving such as that achieved in the Air Eco range of aspirated overhead showers, body jets and fixed showers saves up to 50 per cent of water consumption. At the manufacturing end, the ISO14001-certified company also insists on eco-friendly practices, which ensure that the brand remains environmentally responsible every step of the way from sourcing to manufacturing.
Air Eco range
D'Heer also shares that the company is now looking beyond design and technical developments – they are moving forward into new technology. "The modern bathroom is a room for relaxation, the future bathroom will feature more and more technology. We are not only looking at touch-screens or pre-set shower systems, but at bathrooms that serve a medical point of view. The next idea is – if we can stand in front of the mirror, why can't the mirror tell us something about our weight or our health?"