Under the motto “Prisons, Churches, Nightclubs” this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week from 23-25 May is not only sporting a new corporate identity, but it is bigger, better and more attractive. With an expected number of 35,000 visitors to the Clerkenwell neighborhood looking for best designs from around the world, what better occasion would we have to launch our new venture?Exactly, none – it is now that we open the doors to our new global retail concept in the heart of the London, European, maybe even worldwide innovation center. After the smashing success of the opening of the Experience Center in New York City the day before, we couldn’t wait to show the architects and designers on the old continent the latest products and services in the KOHLER Experience Center in London (KEC) that we operate in partnership with West One Bathrooms Ltd., European’s leading bathroom retailer.Clerkenwell Road between King’s Cross and the City of London was constructed around the same time that our company 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.
We inaugurated the 2,000 square foot Experience Center on 24 May 2017. The event was hosted by David Kohler, President and CEO, who flew over directly from New York.
In the KEC visitors test products close up and personal and immerse themselves into the world of Kohler. They learn about all parts of our business including our other brands such as KALLISTA for premium bathroom designs as well as our stewardship and art programs.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.
Now the first European KEC not only houses innovative products such as Real Rain, the latest Artist Editions Shagreen, advanced technology of the DTV+ shower system, but the ModernLife suites and intelligent toilets Veil.In addition, the new KOHLER global specification service has been launched here for instant, 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.By visiting the new KEC in London, the customers gain a more intimate understanding of our products and services and develop a deeper knowledge and insights of the brand.