Rohl Combines Tradition With The Cutting Edge
In 1983, the Rohl family introduced the pull-out kitchen faucet to America. Unlike a typical product launch, it was also the unveiling of European ideals to a public hungry for age-old craftsmanship and pride in design. Lou Rohl, who has been involved with the company for 26 years, started his career working in Switzerland at a faucet factory before taking reigns as COO of his family’s faucet and fixture company.
Since then, he has helped carry out the ROHL tradition, which has been to create fine products that integrate European craftsmanship with the cutting-edge in luxury, design and technology. “Although 80 percent of the faucets made in the world are sourced from China,” he explains, “we continue to market 100 percent of our own products from Western Europe, New Zealand and North America which has a long standing reputation as a center of excellence.”
ROHL has also perfected the lost art of maintaining longstanding relationships and collaborations with European partners. One line came from the partnership of ROHL and the English company Shaws, which was founded in 1897. Today, their Shaws Original Fireclay kitchen sinks are a popular line.
Although the company prides itself on old-fashioned values, it also continues to evolve to meet the public’s ever-changing tastes, trends and desires. For example, renowned interior designer Michael Berman wanted to create his own signature line. His subsequent collaboration with ROHL produced the American Moderné Collection, inspired by the American Streamline movement popularized in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
“One of our unique attributes is that there are four of us,” Lou says. “We are in New York, San Francisco and Orange County, CA., and we all stay in touch with the tastes and fashions of today so that we can constantly evolve our product.”
Recently, ROHL creators released a new line in which faucet and water filtration featuring Triflow® technology combine to offer a sustainable line. “In one single faucet, you can access hot, cold and filtered water in a choice of innovative and beautiful designs that span traditional to contemporary and help to reduce the use of plastic bottles that are choking our sea life,” Rohl continues.
The boundary-pushing architect Zaha Hadid teamed up with Triflow Concepts recently to integrate the Triflow® technology into her design. Reaching out to a more conscious generation is not surprising for a company that has managed to morph along with the times while maintaining high quality standards.
Lou says that this outreach is an important component in his personal life as well. He is an avid philanthropist who champions numerous cultural and environmental causes in Laguna Beach: he has a seat on the board of the Laguna Art Museum and supports the Laguna Playhouse and the non-profit Oceania.
Photo courtesy of ROHL.