Patrick Speck, Global Design Leader at GROHE • Hotel Designs


While HIX tends to be a rollercoaster of networking and new product launches, we managed to find a quiet corner (yes, there where one or two to be had!) to sit down in conversation with GROHES’ Patrick Speck to get a little more insight into what drives and differentiates the brand, while at the same time exploring bathroom trends more broadly to develop an understanding of what to expect in the realm of wellness and bathroom design moving into 2023.

Hotel Designs: With GROHE being a brand that has always abstained from working with outside designers – putting pride on its in-house design team – how has this shaped recent innovations within the product portfolio?

Patrick Speck: By keeping our design teams in-house, our brand, product designs, and innovations remain on brand and consistent. For us, strong brand consistency is integral as it enables us to make recognisable products that our customers can truly trust in and identify as quality and premium, giving peace of mind. Our customers trust in our products as they are confident in what we supply and that all stems from brand consistency. Our dedicated design team have a wealth of brand experience and knowledge which is invaluable to creating meaningful designs and fully encompass our brand identity. Most recently we shared a design concept of a recycling shower which incorporates our beloved shower systems along with our core brand pillar of sustainability and preserving our natural resources.

HD: The megatrend of wellness shows no sign of slowing down. What would you say are the catalysts pushing wellness to evolve in hotel design?

PS: Fuelled by modern lifestyles changes and the continued effects of the 2020 global pandemic, we have seen the bathroom steadily shift to a room in which we can promote personal wellness, optimised relaxation, and individuality. This shift is no longer just an interior trend, but a societal change in behaviour as the borders of the bedroom and bathroom dissolve. When it comes to hotel design, customers are demanding more than ever before as they expect heightened escapism and wellness that is not easily accessible at home and as wellness is becoming more of a priority in our every-day lives, this is pushing hotel designs to greater heights.

GROHE Allure basin mixer in chrome

Image credit: GROHE

HD: How is the definition of luxury shifting due to the emphasis on and demand for sustainability in hospitality design?

PS: Moving from extravagance, excess and a lavish display, true luxury design lies in expert craftmanship that offers timelessly designed products and concepts. As sustainability is now a crucial project element for designers and specifiers, there is a greater understanding of what it means to offer luxury. A selective approach and choice across materials and bespoke fittings that offer a unique experience and premium quality are now prioritised, as there’s an increased understanding and appreciation of artisan features. At GROHE we believe there should not be a compromise on functionality, premium quality, and design. Our products are expertly designed and crafted to the highest of standards, while also providing users with sustainability minded technology that supports with resource-saving which in turn supports with green specification.

GROHE Allure three-hole wall-mounted basin mixer in Warm Sunrise

Image credit: GROHE

HD: What other trends have you seen emerge this year – perhaps in colour and texture?

PS: Through the increased desire to create a bathroom that encompasses personal style and fits seamlessly into building’s wider interiors, we expect bathroom fittings and ceramics to have a greater significance in the overall design and feel of the bathroom. Through this shift and greater attention to detail, we expect to see bold styles and designs to increase in popularity such as coloured ceramics, brightly coloured brassware, and distinctive shapes as designers and architects put greater significance on individuality and style.

HD: We have been hearing whispers about this spa-like collection for a while now. How would you define this new range?

PS: Our new premium sub-brand, GROHE SPA, stands for health through water and has been created to provide designers and architects with a portfolio of products dedicated to evoking the very best in wellness and relaxation. GROHE SPA will offer exclusive designs combined with cutting-edge technology, curated to transform the bathroom into an oasis of wellbeing and to create a new kind of water experience for all the senses.

HD: Earlier this year, we hosted a roundtable with you on sensory design in hospitality. What is the latest research, and how have your products been developed with the sensory experience in mind?

PS: Now more than ever, our design team is exploring how to create home spaces that prioritise our health and well-being through sensorial design and health through water. Our new launches, such as Rainshower Aqua Body sprays, combined with the new Aqua Ceiling shower modules, are designed to transform any home into a holistic wellness oasis. We are also looking at how spa environments can provide the perfect hideaway to recharge body, mind and soul and we will continue to propose ways to create holistic bathroom experiences that stimulate our senses.

GROHE clean-up in Bosnia and Herzegovina removing plastic

Image credit: GROHE

HD: We ended the year reviewing the year’s product launches, hotel reviews, and stand out moments. What key GROHE moments will you remember most from 2022?

PS: 2022 has been a year of working towards strengthening our brand and product portfolio, particularly when it comes to sustainable innovation and our sustainability business initiatives. In February thanks to our successful ‘Made For Your Water’ campaign, we took part in a hugely effective waterway clean up with the environmental organisation everwave, removing 30 tons of waste from the Bočac Reservoir which is equivalent to over one million 1.5l plastic bottles in weight. For us, this was a huge achievement as our campaign made a real-world difference and could be instantly recognised. Our goal now is to further close the gap between waste product and functional items, finding ways in which we can utilise waste.

This year we also took a huge step in supporting designers, hoteliers, and architects’ make easy and transparent comparisons with regards to sustainable specification, with the launch of EPDs across a wide range of our portfolio. On this basis, designers and specifiers can make informed statements about the environmental impact of buildings, which is often a cornerstone for sustainability certifications such as DGNB, LEED or BREEAM. With increasing pressure on the industry to make buildings ever more sustainable, information of this kind will be a selection norm for products in the future, on level with price, design, and quality.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE


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