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Coinciding with the 2008 ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair), 16th May saw the opening of the monographic exhibition of Spanish design entitled Rojo (Red), which ran until 8th June in one of Manhattan’s most emblematic stores, The Conran Shop.The exhibition, which pays tribute to the colour red, was commissioned by Nani Marquina and designed by Luis Eslava, one of Spanish design’s young talents. Eslava created a space presenting a selection of Spanish pieces which, while being both classic and modern, had a common denominator: RED.ROJO is an exhibition designed to promote both emerging and established Spanish designers. The selected pieces constitute a small sample of the best that Spanish design has to offer and the most representative “Made in Spain” brands.Nineteen Spanish design firms took part with a total of twenty-one top quality products, some designed by Luis Eslava himself, Jaime Hayón and Emiliana Studio, amongst others. The following companies were represented: ABR, Almerich, Andreu World, Arturo Álvarez, B.Lux, BD Barcelona Design, Concepta, Capdell, Gandía Blasco, Fambuena, Luzifer, Marset, MO, nanimarquina, Perobell, Punt Mobles, RS, Santa & Cole and Vibia.In order to provide some atmosphere in the square where The Conran Shop is located, Luis Eslava produced six king-size versions of nanimarquina's mythic Tomato poufs. Inside, a floor carpeted in white gave warmth and light to the exhibition and helped to highlight the various pieces on display, all of which were red.Inside the store, the products could be discovered behind original curtains made of Velcro, a material that characterises Eslava’s designs and montages. The space was made up of a variety of environments comprising rugs by nanimarquina and several decorative pieces in red. Straight after entering we came across BD Barcelona’s well-known Showtime chair designed by Jaime Hayón, the La Cosa casual chair by Concepta and the Guau wall lamp, produced by Arturo Álvarez and designed by El Último Grito.The central area housed several of ABR’s Cul Is Cool chairs, designed by Ramón Úbeda and Otto Canalda, placed on nanimarquina’s Flying Carpet rug, designed by Ana Mir and Emili Padrós. We then came to Gandía Blasco’s parasols, placed on three of nanimarquina’s News rugs, designed by Martí Guixé. Meanwhile, pieces such as MO’s Twist tables by Martínez Otero, Gandía Blasco’s 356 lounger and the Dedal stools by Punt Mobles were located at the sides.The lamps on display included the following: Trípode by Santa & Cole, Olivia by Marset, Mikado by Luzifer, face to face and Boomerang by Almerich, Clea by Marset, Infinity by Vibia, and Làszlò by Fambuena.


Roca, world leader in bathroom design, has picked Barcelona as the city in which to open its new architectural centre, designed to be a global reference point for the company’s social, cultural and exhibiting activities. This new building, called the Roca Gallery, is conceived with the idea of becoming a new space which will embrace the city and be a venue where visitors can learn about, experience and discover all there is to know about the world of bathroom design. It also aims to communicate to people its brand ethos, its history (almost 100 years old now) and its most recent achievements. The 2,400 sq m space, located on Juan Güell street, occupies three floors. It was designed by the prestigious architecture practice OAB (Office of Architecture in Barcelona) whose director is Carlos Ferrater. This new project is remarkable mainly for its strong architectural qualities which aim to reflect Roca’s core brand values. Water, lighting and colour – all distinguishing characteristics of this firm – are used to create the building’s unique interiors. Iluminated by hundreds of LED lights, the building is designed to be seen as a massive lightbox by night and an enormous shop window by day. The ground-floor level, called Roca World, focuses on capturing the essence of the brand: its core values and history. State-of-the-art technology allows visitors to see a quick audio-visual presentation of the world of bathroom design and to enjoy various projections which recreate the activities which take place in bathrooms on a daily basis. In addition, this floor has a large reception and a bathroom design consultancy. The first floor, which is called Triple Espacio (Third Space), mounts different temporary exhibitions and sociocultural displays. Roca Gallery’s inaugural show was named El Baño, Una Mirada Histórica (Bathrooms – a Look at their History), where you can see such unique pieces as the sink and bidet from the bathroom of Empress Sisi (Elisabeth of Bavaria, 1876-1965). Roca products are currently available in about 135 countries and the company has 65 factories scattered across 17 of these. It collaborates with highly prestigious designers, architects and interior designers such as Rafael Moneo, David Chipperfield, Herzog & de Meuron, the studio Benedito Design, Giugiaro Design and Schmidt & Lackner. It also promotes and supports young talent via such initiatives as the international design competition Jump the Gap, which gives the winning project and its creator the opportunity to earn itself an international recognition. All this has led to Roca becoming an internationally respected brand in the bathroom design world.


The ROCA Group, world specialists in sanitary ware and bathroom equipment, has already three showrooms in China, and from the outset, the company has worked to secure its high profile reputation in this country and the rest of Asia.Roca’s activity in China began in 1999 with the opening of a factory to produce porcelain sanitary ware. A second factory was opened in 2005, located in Suzhou, and manufactures cast iron and acrylic baths. The company nowadays has a total of 8 production plants located in Suzhou, Foshan and Guangdong.Roca has a showroom in each of China's major cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, which are named “Roca Experience Centres” and allow customers not only to see the products exhibited but to feel and experience them.The Shanghai showroom was inaugurated in May 2007. Covering 1,072 square metres it is in one of the city’s most important and better located shopping centres and attracts around one thousand visitors per month.In recent years, the company has undergone an extraordinary international expansion due to the purchase of sister companies within the sanitary ware sector from various countries around the world. In 2007 the corporation’s turnover totalled 1,788 million euros.In addition to these, Roca has showrooms in Brazil, Bulgaria, Morocco, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and of course in Spain.Roca is the world leader in the bathroom sector and operates in over 135 countries. It also has a division responsible for the production and sale of ceramic wall and floor tiles (Roca Cerámica).“Roca Corporación Empresarial” is the parent company of a group dedicated to the design, production and marketing of specialised products for the Contract market. The group has production facilities all over the world and directly employs over 20,000 people.Roca has been recognised for its commitment to cutting edge design and trend setting and in October 2008 in Cardiff, UK, was awarded the “Best management of design in a large company” prize at the second edition of the Design Management Europe Awards.Design Management Europe is a European initiative whose main aim is to demonstrate and promote the commercial benefits that well integrated design can bring to a company. 


For the past few months, the company has had its own Roca Gallery in Madrid, an impressive, two-storey 1,200 m sq space. Called Roca Madrid Gallery, it’s the flagship store of this Spanish brand and leading bathroom company, thanks to its spectacular premises and ultra-central location in the Madrid street of José Abascal. The atmospheric interior has been designed in collaboration with Madrid-based architects Estudio Lamela to dazzling effect. It’s a highly unusual space in a futuristic style, boasting cutting-edge equipment which allows visitors to ineract fully with the building. According to its managers, Roca Madrid Gallery communicates the brand’s essence: its values, history, evolution and main turning points. As well as serving as a showcase for the brand’s most iconic pieces, the showroom will host social and cultural events as well as exhibitions reflecting the company’s values, such as energy efficiency, economical use of materials, sustainability, good design and innovation. In the next few months, Roca Madrid Gallery will host temporary exhibitions open to the public, such as ‘Construyendo la cuidad’ (meaning building cities) – a display of projects awarded the Mies van der Rohe Foundation’s European Union Prizes for Contemporary Architecture – and ‘El baño, una retrospectiva histórica’ (the history of the bath) – which charts the evolution of the bathroom and explores its social significance. Roca’s new space wants to reach out to the city – and be a cool hangout for both visitors and passers-by – as its arresting facade, on to which large-scale audiovisuals are projected, amply demonstrates. Roca currently has 69 factories around the world and a presence in over 135 countries. Its Barcelona showroom, which opened in 2009, recently won American magazine Architectural Record’s prize for excellence. Features: Bathrooms 2011


Water plays a fundamental role in the space Last October, legendary Spanish bathroom company Roca opened an iconic, super-organic space in London – Roca London Gallery, located near Chelsea Harbour, where many prestigious design brands have showrooms. Zaha Hadid Architects took on this highly unusual project, whose main inspiration is the force of water as an element with the power to change. The design of this 1,100 sq m showroom is steeped in the complexity and beauty of natural forms. Using a formal language derived from the circulation of water, Roca London Gallery has taken inspiration from the fluidity of water to create a sequence of dynamic spaces conducive to making the interaction between visitor and the space as harmonious as possible. The building’s facade is similarly arresting, giving Roca London Gallery its very distinctive identity. This incorporates a combination of openings which look as though they’ve been eroded by water, and which embrace the city and street life outside. Roca London Gallery is destined to be much more than a showroom to display products: it aims to reach out, in an inclusive way, to a wide audience, from professionals such as architects to students. The venue, which will host a huge variety of activities, such as temporary exhibitions mounted by the company and other organisations, meetings, presentations and discussions, hopes to become one of the city’s most influential spaces. Roca London Gallery is one of a series of concepts initiated by Roca to create unique spaces where the brand can be experienced at first hand – and provide a social and cultural forum in the cities where they’re found. Roca has three other galleries: Roca Barcelona Gallery, Roca Madrid Gallery and Roca Lisboa Gallery in Lisbon. Zaha Hadid Architects’s design doesn’t just appeal on the visual level but helps visitors to understand the relationship between the space’s architecture and the design of Roca’s products. Iraqi-born, London-based Hadid is one of the world’s most celebrated architects. She has twice won the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture, and the launch of Roca London Gallery marks the third project she has undertaken in London. Roca is a company devoted to the design, production and marketing of bathroom products, flooring and ceramic surfaces for use in architecture, building work and interior design. The company employs over 20,200 staff, it has 72 production plants and has a presence in over 135 countries, spread over all five continents.


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