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Fortune Brands

Four apparently different souls come together within the same House

What is striking about the story of the brands brought together in House of Rohl is the way in which four apparently different souls in terms of style, target and products can come together within the same House while remaining true to their own identity. The meeting point underlying the success of this union was the great attention paid to technological innovation, the aim of combining craftsmanship with the search for maximum functionality and a great passion for design. It was this passion for design that marked the beginning of the story that would later lead to the leading company in the sector that we know today.

In 1983, the American entrepreneur Ken Rohl, a passionate loverof international quality design, started his company by selecting and importing into the United States design products in the bathroom and kitchen sectors from Europe and all over the world. This led to the birth of Maison Rohl, which immediately positioned
its brand in the high end of the market. Much later, in 2018, the US-based Water Innovations (GPG) of Fortune Brands gave birth to House of Rohl, bringing together in one powerful collection the craft and luxury brands that had sprung up over the years: Riobel, Perrin & Rowe, Victoria + Albert and Shaws.

Riobel is a brand born in Quebec specialising in contemporary style taps and fittings. It embodies the city’s fusion of European culture and North American charm. Riobel brassware is characterised by geometric shapes and unique angles, inspired by the forms of modern architecture. Shaws, the oldest of the combined brands, originated in 1897 in Darwen, England, and has since distinguished itself by producing handmade Heavy Duty Fireclay sinks. Perrin & Rowe produces brass taps and fittings to meet a classic style requirement, but without renouncing technological innovation: it was the first company to offer a 3-in-1 tap, capable of delivering hot, cold and filtered water, using a unique designated spout waterway. Finally, Victoria + Albert Baths is the House of Rohl brand specialising in the production of bathtubs and washbasins, born of a strong link to tradition, but which soon developed the objective of renewing the sector by producing extremely light bathtubs (under 100 kg), capable of maintaining room temperature and being extremely functional.

JAMES STICKLEY, EU SALES MANAGER GPG EUROPE & RUSSIA, TOLD PLATFORM ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF HOUSE OF ROHL

The history of each of the four brands that make up House of Rohl is characterised by a great deal of technological research and in-depth study of materials. What are the most important innovations that the brands introduce?

Every House of Rohl product is the result of research into materials, into technologies that can influence a more sustainable lifestyle, and also into the design, shapes and colours that characterise our products. I am proud to be part of this reality that for years has been developing and proposing products able to innovate the bathroom, kitchen and other sectors with technological materials. Victoria + Albert, for example, uses QUARRYCAST™ for its bathtubs, a mixture of volcanic limestone and high-performancenresins. Thanks to its robustness, this material can also be used outdoors. In addition, the volcanic rock composition means that
water temperature dispersion is remarkably low. During a bath, the heat of the water drops only a few degrees, so there is no need to replenish the hot water. Shaws, on the other hand, still makes Heavy Duty fireclay, a very complex material to work with, but one that produces extremely durable ceramics. House of Rohl also stands out for the great attention it pays to the design and aesthetics of its products. Working with Wallpaper* magazine, Victoria + Albert have launched three colour palettes, further extending their choice of RAL colours.

How did House of Rohl’s idea of a comprehensive approach to the European market develop?

The idea was born shortly before the onset of the health emergency, which naturally slowed down the process and prevented presentations or participation in events. Despite this, the company continued to pursue this goal so that in 2022, House of Rohl has already taken part in kbb in Birmingham, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture. This was the first real opportunity since the years of the health emergency to test the response of the European market. The response was really positive because the company was able to show its ability to offer a wide range of high quality products thanks to the combination
of its brands. It is precisely for this reason that House of Rohl’s desire to expand its presence beyond North America, which is currently the strongest market for the brand internationally, and to develop European markets such as Italy, Germany, France and Latvia has been strengthened. This is the context in which the group’s first ever participation in the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in 2022 should be interpreted, with a 200-square-metre stand that allows visitors to see for themselves how the products and Brands of the House of Rohl lines can be integrated and create environments suited to all needs in terms of both style and functionality.

How does House of Rohl approach the world of design?

The relationship with the architect and interior designer is fundamental, it is one of the company’s main targets. House of Rohl has chosen to locate the first showroom in which it has brought together the products of all four of its brands in the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour in London, a beautiful shopping centre launched in 2021 and dedicated to designers where they can get to know new products, materials and take inspiration for their work among fabrics, furniture and design products. Many of our products are the result of collaborations with important international designers, such as the Eldon collection by Conran + Partners, Amiata designed by the Italian studio Meneghello Paolelli or the Taizu bathtub, which was the result of our first collaboration with the famous Hong Kong designer  Steve Leung. In the near future our aim is to open tailor-made “House of Rohl” flagship stores with our partners and to become a reference supplier for designers, distributors and installers thanks to a range of high quality and highly crafted products.

 

For more information visit: houseofrohl.it/homepage/