In 2013, Franz Viegener, a faucetry manufacturer with century-old roots in Germany and South America, introduced what would become an award-winning collection to North America. Its Premium Collection is high-end, meticulously crafted and engineered collection of bath fittings produced in a dedicated facility within the company’s 700,000 square-foot state-of-the-art complex in Buenos Aires. The company now has its North American headquarters in North America in Gurnee, Ill., outside of Chicago. A+A recently interviewed a representative of the firm and its lead designer via email:
What’s the history of the company?
Franz Viegener — renowned for its uncompromising quality — is a modern amalgam of South American style and German engineering, producing sculptural bath fittings that synthesize architecture, geometric forms and fluidity.
In 1899, Franz Viegener created a company in Attendorn, Germany manufacturing beer taps, forged from brass, for their domestic market. In 1921 his son founded a new company called FV in Buenos Aires, manufacturing brass faucetry. It became one of South America’s largest plumbing products producers.
What’s the Premium Collection about – and who’s the target market?
Continuing in their expansion, the company has recently created a new segment to its offering called the Premium Collection, a high-end luxury faucet line. The goal was to create a high quality, design oriented, luxury product that would exceed the standards of designers and architects worldwide.
This curated portfolio reveals products that are contemporary, authentic and pure. Each collection series consists of matching faucets, shower systems, deck and wall mounted fixtures and floor-mounted tub fillers, as well as a complete line of accessories – each component offered with a lifetime limited warranty to be free of defects in workmanship or material. The Premium Collection is distributed through a network of dealer partners.
Premium Collection products have won a number of prestigious, international awards including GOOD® Design award and “Best in Show” at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair — both of which they earned multiple years in a row. Franz Viegener bath collections are specified and sourced by leading architects and designers, and installations include showcase residences and premier hospitality properties, internationally.
Its commitment to excellent design?
The Premium Collection’s best-in-class label is not an idle claim: the brand’s finest European engineering and master artisans work together to create the Premium Collection’s unique and exceptional handcrafted products. Each distinct collection is a fusion of the cultural and historical surroundings in which the brand thrives, together with the discipline and engineering prowess of the Viegener family.
The inspiration for its designs?
Franz Viegener is inspired by art, architecture and the environment and these inspirations drive their designs. They are always looking for a different and fresh way to deliver water; the edge of possibility. This is how they came up with the design for their Edge collection – to see how thin they could design that spout. The shape of the spout is also an excellent canvas – it showcases our mirror-like finishes.
Franz Viegener uses safe, environmental practices and manufactures their collections using lead-free brass. The company boasts responsible manufacturing with state-of-the-art air quality and water reclamation treatments.
Franz Viegener also values water efficiency. The standard aerator the brand uses for widespread, single handle and wall lav faucet is 2.2 gpm, but they are able to change the restrictor to accommodate flows as low as 1.2 gpm.
How many designers are on staff?
Josef Moskovic is the lead designer for the Franz Viegener brand. Here are his thoughts and feelings on designing such innovative products: “I would characterize myself as a product developer with design intuition. My background comes from 35 years of experience in the plumbing industry combined with a deep passion and education of the arts.”
“My inspirations for the many different faucet shapes come from my exposure with our industry, globally. I see a shape that excites me, and I am compelled to create it. I look for ways to incorporate the engineering of fine metals, finishing techniques and our teams’ ingenuity to create functional faucetry. We always keep pushing the boundaries of design — that’s the only way to keep our product line fresh.”
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