Interiors Awards 2018: Showroom

Sliding glass doors have oversized drawings of Häfele products depicted as lines across the frosted glass. Photograph by Michael Moran

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Interiors Awards 2018: Showroom
Häfele New York Showroom
Designer: Perkins+Will
Client: Häfele
Location: New York

“In a very technical way, this is a brilliant space. It’s a demonstration of what the hardware company produces. The designers elevate the hardware, setting it apart and making it beautiful in a tight, intelligently planned space.” —Jury

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.”