Where innovation is at home

Where innovation is at home

Willi Bruckbauer has revolutionised the kitchen as a living space with his cooktop extractor systems. And the success story is still being written. BORA can now be seen all over the globe – and is also growing in its home regions of Bavaria and Tyrol. The company needs to make room for the many new employees and its new buildings must conform to BORA’s inherent demands for top performance and design.

The start of something big

When Willi Bruckbauer founded BORA Lüftungstechnik GmbH in 2007, the company only had a handful of employees. Back then, the trained master joiner and BORA pioneer still had enough room in the werkhaus in the Bavarian town of Raubling to work on his innovative cooktop extractor systems and find the best solutions to effectively suction away steam.

In the meantime, BORA – named after one of the fastest fall winds in the world – has taken the kitchen world by storm at lightning speed and has increased its staff numbers accordingly. The werkhaus, BORA’s nucleus with its curved façade, long since became too small for the company’s big ideas.

So the headquarters was expanded with a building located right opposite the werkhaus. Management, sales, planning, accounts, HR, technical service, the BORA – hansgrohe team and the BORA Academy, as well as our architects, can all be found there. Built in 2017, BORA’s second headquarters is located in the Austrian town of Niederndorf on the border with Bavaria and houses the research & development hub, the marketing, product management, international order processing and international customer service departments, and a second HR department.

Creating an icon with flair

The nine-storey building in Raubling was designed by the architect’s office Lorenz Ateliers. The existing office building from the 1960s was to be left standing and the old was to become something new and aesthetically appropriate. Demands were high as far as the renovation was concerned: the new façade was to be made of high-quality, sustainable materials, protect from strong sunlight and enable passive temperature control.

The result: first of all, lightweight construction techniques were used to add another storey to the existing steel and concrete structure while the company was still fully operational. Then new thermal cladding was added to increase the building’s energy efficiency. This is also aided by the new shutters which provide protection from the sun. The company’s commitment to technology and innovation is not only reflected in the “smarter” technology installed, for example in the ventilation system which recovers heat from the building, but also in the attractive design of the new façade.

This is made of weathering steel and together with the all-round glazing on the top floor and the protruding flat roof sporting the BORA logo looks quite futuristic. The surrounding roof terrace provides enough room for relaxing in the fresh air on a sunny day and panoramic views of the surrounding villages and the Alps – you can almost see the headquarters in Niederndorf too!

From Bavaria to the rest of the world

There are also several BORA buildings in Niederndorf. Research and development takes place in one building, which BORA did not build but took over and which the employees simply call “AT II”. “AT II”, fully cladded in shingles, was completed in 2018 after just one year of building work and with its modern twist on an alpine chalet blends in perfectly with the Tyrol mountain landscape.

In addition to the larch shingles, the shape of the building also immediately catches the eye: the large “U”, formed by the arrangement of the two wings, enables the large, open-plan offices to be practically divided into departments. These are linked by communal kitchens, which are located in the central section of each floor. The large salad bar, in which employees are offered tasty, healthy organic food on a daily basis, is located on the top floor of the building – as it is in Raubling.

Although the two beating hearts of BORA are located in Raubling and Niederndorf, the company has other international headquarters in the Netherlands, Australia and Great Britain. Due to our constant growth, there’s plenty to be done in the future too. No sooner have we moved in somewhere, have our buildings become too small for the many people who work there every day to bring technical innovation, the best designs and unlimited freedom into the kitchen as a living space.

At present, the BORA flagship store is being built in Herford and a further building is going up in Niederndorf. Both of these projects also stand out for their iconic, unmistakeable architecture which clearly shows that BORA is cutting its own path for the company locations too. You can look forward to seeing the results soon.