This week we opened the doors to our seventh Kohler Experience Centre, in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The opening night of the KOHLER Experience Center – West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Following on from KEC’s in New York, London, Singapore, New Delhi, Taipei and Bangkok, the Hollywood store (KEC LAX) continues our mission to launch our new retail concept – KOHLER Experience Centre’s located around the world, offering a global immersion in the full offering of KOHLER products.
What this means is that each Centre will showcase fully-functioning displays of Kohler’s global product lines available across the world— a first for both the industry and for the KOHLER brand. This will enable trade professionals to test and source KOHLER products like never before. Fully-functioning products, including showers, tapware, basins and toilets will enable all customers to experience the true differences in performance and design.
Extensive displays showcase products.
Designed by noted Los Angeles architectural firm Marmol Radziner, the sleek, white two-story shopping destination is flooded with natural light and features soaring ceilings, sliding walls of glass and more than twenty fully designed kitchen and bath vignettes.
20 bathroom vignettes adorn the showroom.
The opening was attended by key designers, celebrities and industry associates alike. LA has an emerging design scene – not just limited to product design, but also encompassing fashion, film, culture – and has been looking for something like the KEC LAX to learn more about a manufacturer’s passion for gracious living, leading-edge design, and outstanding customer service.
Visitors to the KEC LAX can fully immerse themselves in the world of bathroom and kitchen design by browsing the stunning vignettes, or taking it a step further by booking a real-life experience of the products in the Experience Room, featuring recently released products such as Real Rain, DTV+ digital shower systems, VibraAcoustic hydrotherapy along with the Veil and Numi Intelligent Toilets*.
Showering experiences can be enjoyed by visitors – bookings required!
Experience suites offer visitors the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’.
Each KOHLER Experience Centre includes an art installation to pay homage to the John Michael Kohler Arts Centre and KOHLER’s dedication to the arts. KEC LAX features the large-scale work of renowned sculptor, David Franklin, a Kohler Artist-in-Residence at Kohler, Wisconsin. The installation – named Ghost School (2015), features a piece from the Kohler Co. permanent collection and is crafted from clay during Franklin’s 2015 residency, celebrates life on the water while giving form to the artist’s continued concern of the ocean environment where he frequently spends time.
David Franklin’s art installation – Ghost School (2015)
Kohler Co. plans to launch a total of 10 KECs in 2017 and 2018 to meet global demand. Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Dubai will follow in 2018.
* Note that not all products are available in this market as yet.
This year, Kohler has successfully opened Kohler Experience Centers (KEC) in the US., U.K. and India and can now add Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand to the ever-growing list of experiential kitchen and bathroom showrooms.
TAIPEI KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
On August 28, President and CEO, David Kohler, and Larry Yuen, Group President – Kitchen and Bath, opened the Taipei KEC (KECTPE)
The opening ceremony of the KEC Taipei was a dramatic and exciting event!
The design of the KEC Taipei was inspired by the arcs and angles of a book – like it was being flipped through – and the designers applied the aesthetics of these lines throughout the showroom.
The new KEC Taipei is reminiscent of pages flipping open in a book.
The rich, avant-garde displays of kitchen and bathroom suites included a range exciting new products, including the iconic TouchMe mirrors, Intelligent toilets, Moxie Wireless Bluetooth showerhead, live water zones and the signature Bold Art installation.
The suites include working displays and a range of innovative new products in bathroom settings.
The immersive opening ceremony experience was followed by a Kohler Design Forum, which Kohler partnered with the Chinese Society of Interior Designers (CSID) and was attended by architects, designers and industry guests.
CEO and President, David Kohler, addresses the audience
BANGKOK KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
Just 24 hours after the Grand Opening of the KEC Taipei, David Kohler and the team raised their glasses to officially welcome in the KEC in Bangkok – the fifth KEC to open.
The Bangkok KEC opening also celebrated the 15th anniversary of Kohler in Thailand. The beautiful new retail space in Nobel Remix 2 Condo near the trendy Thong Lor Skytrain station sports a post-industrial, minimalist style.
The stunning new Bangkok experiential showroom.
The 700sqm space was designed by award-winning Bangkok based P49 and was developed with the concept of an industrial art gallery in mind. With hundreds of showrooms currently existing in Bangkok, the challenge was to create a truly unique space to showcase their iconic, award-winning kitchen and bathroom products.
The extensive showroom offers the latest innovations in intelligent toilets, PVD tapware displays and an Artist Edition basin gallery. Visitors can also experience working displays featuring the latest products and technologies.
The immersive display offers consumers and designers the opportunity to experience Kohler products.
Tapping into the growing popularity of collaborative working spaces, the KECBKK includes a co-working space and coffee bar for visitors and designers alike to meet and discuss their kitchen and bathroom projects.
The KEC BKK
Following the Industrial Art Gallery theme and blueprint of all KEC’s, visitors to Bangkok’s KEC are greeted by an art space featuring both local and international artists. Artwork will be rotated to continuously keep visitors intrigued and inspired.
The art installation at the KEC BKK.
SINGAPORE KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
While Kohler products can be found in various showrooms around Singapore, the KEC is the first Kohler-exclusive location in this regional design and architectural hub.
The opening of the KEC SGP featured a light show – both inside and out!
The 790sqm showroom is situated in the heart of Singapore’s downtown district in a traditional conservation space. The ground floor is divided into five distinct zones – Fashion; High Tech; Family; Classic and Black.
Some of the suites at the KEC SGP…
The art installations on opening are ‘Born in Taiwan’ by Taiwanese artist Wu Peishan and ‘time artifacts’ by Singaporean artist Thomas Cheong.
The KEC Singpore art installation was by Taiwanese artist Wu Peishan
KECSGP Guests were treated to an illuminated light show both internally, during the opening ceremony, and externally on the building front – a unique occasion in Singapore!
Following hot on the heels of the opening of KOHLER’s inaugural Experience Centre in New York City, the very next day a European Kohler Experience Centre opened in the London suburb of Clerkenwell – one of the city’s renowned creative hubs.
After the incredible success of the opening of the KOHLER Experience Centre in New York City the day before, it made perfect sense to show the architects and designers on the old continent the latest products and services in the new KOHLER Experience Centre in London (KEC LON) – a showroom operated in partnership with West One Bathrooms Ltd. European’s leading bathroom retailer.
The new Kohler Experience Centre in London
The event was hosted by David Kohler, President and CEO, who flew over directly from New York. The event corresponded with the Clerkenwell Design Week, held 23-25 May, and hosts around 35,000 visitors to the this design neighborhood – looking for best designs from around the world.
The KEC LON taxi!
In the KEC, visitors can experience products close up and personal and immerse themselves into the world of Kohler. The centre shares information on all aspects of the KOHLER business including our other brands such as KALLISTA – for luxury and premium bathroom designs – as well as our stewardship and art programs.
The first European KEC showcases innovative products such as Real Rain, the latest Artist Editions Shagreen basins, the advanced technology of the DTV+ shower system, the new Modern Life suites and Veil Intelligent Toilets.
Kohler’s new Shagreen basins and new baths on display
In addition, the new KOHLER global specification service has been launched, providing instantaneous, hands-on access to all products across our entire portfolio.
In a dedicated art space, a piece of the Bold. Art. exhibition 2014-2016 is displayed. “Love” by the Korean artist Yang Younghoe is part of the Arts/Industry program that we run in the US and Asia and features at the London Experience Centre.
The Bold Art installation – “Love” – by the Korean artist Yang Younghoe
By visiting the new KEC in London, customers can gain a more intimate understanding of our products and services and develop a deeper knowledge and insights of the brand.
About the area
Clerkenwell Road – between King’s Cross and the City of London – was constructed around the same time that KOHLER was founded. The initial purpose of the road was to link the east and west of the city.
The neighborhood has developed from a monastic settlement (long before the road existed) through darker times of crimes to an area in Central London where one finds more hedonistic, creative businesses and number of architects per square meter than anywhere else in the world.
The design district is these days more alive than ever, although the atmosphere is creative and artsy all year around with more than 80 world renowned design brands, more than 200 architects, tons of restaurants, and bars in the neighborhood.
44-48 Clerkenwell Road where the showroom is located is a building with a long history. It was built in 1886 as a warehouse for the printers Gilbert & Rivington by the architect W. Seckham Witherington. In the early years of the 20th century it was turned into a factory for Elis Korn, a jeweler and watchmaker, who had the place refurbished by the architect W. Ernest Jefferis.
The building that is close to Farringdon station – rumored to be the oldest underground metro line in the world – has long served London’s creative industry.
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.
Designers line up outside the new Kohler Experience Centre in New York.
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
One of the spa retreat bathrooms you can book and experience before you buy!
experience! And collections of complementary basins and products – side by side to provide plenty of bathroom design inspiration.
The colour wheel …
Products on display at the new KEC NYC
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.”
President and CEO David Kohler greets guests at the new showroom.
The new showering display gives visitors a hands-on experience of Kohler’s showering technology.
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.
The Art installation at KEC NYC
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.