Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 117
By John Czarnecki
Sliding glass doors have
oversized drawings of Häfele
products depicted as lines
across the frosted glass.
For Häfele, the German manufacturer of
hardware, fitting systems, lighting, and electronic
locking systems for interiors, its New York
showroom needed to display its products in a way
that would be attractive to a broad design-minded
and urbane audience. Perkins+Will, led by 2018
Design Legend Joan Blumenfeld (page 54) and
Arjav Shah, accomplished this in a showroom where
sliding, moving, and rolling elements help to show
off innumerable hardware products within
a confined space.
Häfele moved its New York showroom
into a new 4,000-square-foot space on the second
floor of a Flatiron District building in Manhattan.
"This is a showroom that really illustrates the fact
that Häfele is a global company. But it is New York,
and the company wanted it to look like it belonged
here," Blumenfeld says.
The interior appeals to three types of
visiting clientele: architects and interior designers,
millworkers, and kitchen or closet builders. "The
showroom had to be visually appealing for all of those
people," says Christine Bengtson, senior marketing
manager for Häfele America, who served as the
client contact for Perkins+Will. "The primary goal
was to create a hardware destination-showing
our hardware in a clean and inspirational setting."
Perkins+Will's Eileen Jones oversaw the
integration of Häfele's brand identity-incorporating
the color red-throughout the interior to inspire,
guide, and motivate customers to learn about the
products. That process starts with a red-branded
portal-like entrance adjacent to display cases
where, Blumenfeld says, "The hardware is displayed
in little jewel boxes as though it is jewelry."
Inside the showroom, ceilings as high
as 14 feet open up interior possibilities in a space
where square footage is at a premium. Häfele LOOX
LED dimmable lighting is installed overhead
and incorporated within millwork. Floors are largeformat tiles, as well as carpet. Tongue-in-groove
walnut wood on walls that enclose a conference
room adds an element of warmth.
The showroom integrates Häfele's innovative
technologies within vignettes that, when taken
together, cover a wide spectrum of products from
kitchen solutions to door hardware and lighting.
In an immersive customer engagement experience,
visitors are encouraged to slide, fold, and lift up
drawers and millwork to discover the expansive
lines. High-density mobile display units allow
the company to showcase a multitude of products.
Although this is a showroom for professionals,
the design is inspired by hospitality and even
residential settings. An area that contains a custom
kitchen is converted over time into a small-space
living display. Upon entering the showroom, one
sees a setting with casual seating that can be
adapted to accommodate meetings or presentations
for up to 100 people. Floor-to-ceiling sliding
glass doors-with oversized drawings of Häfele
products depicted as lines across the frosted
glass-both separate this area from the employee
workspaces and allow for a more spacious interior
when fully open.
Häfele showroom employees enjoy the
company's AdjusTableSystems adjustable-height
desks. Adjacent workstation credenzas were
customized by Shah with a variety of Häfele hardware,
such as power charging and cable management,
concealed locking cabinets and drawers, and cabinet
fittings such as hinges, drawer slides, connectors,
and floor glides.
"We are a company [that is] about the details,"
says Bengtson. "Tasked with presenting everything
in an elegant package, the Perkins+Will team did
a great job of taking our brand strength and making
our new showroom reflects that." c