• First Class / Flexibility

    21 April 2016

    In treating its wood products with respect and individual attention, German timber company Schotten and Hansen creates flooring and interior finishes that wear well and stand the test of time, while adding a beauty to be found only in the natural world.

    SchottenHansen_Rusch_Auswahl5_PrintA discussion about the use of natural products in construction, such as wood, invariably revolves around the warmth and intangible aesthetic qualities they lend to modern interiors. While it is an undeniable fact that wood adds atmosphere, these superficial conversations ignore a core reason for considering natural finishes – they are as durable as Mother Nature herself.

    It’s a misconception that Torben Hansen, the founder of Schotten & Hansen, is happy to dispel. “A tree often has to mature for 300 years before we can process it,” he says. “Wood is not a lifestyle product like plastic laminate that will only last 10 years. We have to prepare wood in such a way that it can last a long time as it also carries our footprints along with it.”

    The durability of Schotten & Hansen’s hand-made, engineered flooring verges on legend. Their flooring has found a home in high-end commercial spaces and high-traffic areas of hotels around the globe. But some of the most interesting applications have been in the least likely and most hostile environments.

    Royal Huisman Pumula - cory silken_2013-01-30-0189When the shipyard Royal Huisman in The Netherlands delivered the 57.5-metre-long superyacht Twizzle in 2010, theRoyal Huisman Pumula - cory silken_2013-01-29-0463y opted for Schotten & Hansen’s prefinished veneer solutions which found their applications flooring, bulkheads, doors and furniture– and this for one of the world’s best charters, operating in the harsh maritime environment.

    “There was no risk in us using Schotten  Hansen for this beautiful yacht. They worked with us closely and we were certain of a high-quality outcome,” says Royal Huisman’s design manager Ad Diepstraten.

    In the luxury realm, if you’re lucky enough to have made use of the First Class lounges of national flagship carrier Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong International Airport, you will have noted the liberal use of the company’s flooring which is fundamental in underpinning the elegant ambience in this exclusive environment catering to the world’s most seasoned travellers.

    The flooring is particularly hardy and able to be used in seemingly inhospitable settings, and in areas with constant foot traffic due to the hand-selected quality of the raw ingredient – Schotten & Hansen famously claim to use just 5 percent of the tree trunks they are consigned – and how it is processed, with light to extract moisture and prevent warping; a mixture of natural waxes, oils and resins; and the resilience of the glulam construction.

    The result is a product that can withstand the extremes of humidity and wear of shopping centre pedestrian flows, for example, with an aplomb that meets or surpasses stone and aggregate finishes.

    Quality at The Core

    IMG_9290_fusedThe journey for each piece of flooring the company produces is structured but not inflexible. The company makes allowances to highlight distinctive patterns in the grain and in the knots, or in the colour of the timber, to bring each piece to life. “I see myself as a translator between the architect and nature,” says Hansen.

    Hansen himself has a passion for timber that reflects his training as a carpenter. The Dane moved to his current home in Bavaria where he was employed by Robert Schotten, a man who would eventually lend his name to the company the pair would establish.

    “With innovative thinking and unshakeable faith in research, we bring virtually every idea to fruition, from classic plank flooring to acoustic panels to the interior finish of boats,” says Hansen.

    View More: http://fotokamal.pass.us/woodconcept“The perfection in our work cannot be achieved by machine. Many of our work processes stand in the tradition of German craftsmanship and are combined with the most modern technology. Every work piece is processed at the hands of our master craftsmen.”

    Real Sustainability

    Sustainability is an often used and seldom defined word in construction. The Schotten & Hansen conceptualisation is one that incorporates craft with care. It’s an idea from Hansen’s past that forms the future of the company. “When I came to Germany at the age of 22 with just a toolbox in order to become a carpenter, I got a job from Mr Schotten to clean 20 small wardrobes. I could not think of anything worse… but I did not want to give up,” says Hansen. “A few weeks later, the customer arrived to pick up the wardrobe and was so happy. I had given that piece of furniture a new skin and yet a skin that bore in it the history and personality of the wood. That is how I think of sustainability. We should pass things on.”

    The company’s approach to sustainability naturally removes paints and solventbased adhesives from the workmanship. Without the addition of harsh solvents the finished article relies heavily on the natural charisma of the living product. Experimentation at the company’s headquarters has helped to deliver a range of colours, tints and tones that range from the expected – the beautiful neutral tones that typify wood in the construction setting – and the unexpected, from light grey to pale blue.


    Board Meeting

    The masters of bespoke timber are headed to Build4Asia where they are presenting their products and enjoying a round of meetings with clients. Hansen’s message during this trip to Asia’s biggest building, electrical engineering and security tradeshow is one of durability. Schotten & Hansen floorboards are said to retain their quality look and feel across generations.

    “The visible top layer consists of the chosen wood while the middle layer and underlayment are made from local coniferous wood,” says Hansen. “This method not only saves resources but it is also technically superior to plain solid wood. “The adhesives have been developed in close collaboration with our vendors. They have above average drying times and are therefore water tight and temperature proof.” The process explains the extraordinary stability of the flooring in extreme conditions. But the journey for the company’s flooring begins before the lamination stage. Woodworking begins with washing the residues and tannins from the raw material with boiling water. The process strips impurities from the wood, bringing out the natural beauty in the product.

    ZB525To seal the boards, Schotten & Hansen has a patented proprietary surface treatment that is breathable and elastic – in a finish that is described as skinlike. The precision coatings – all natural – are tailored to customer needs. They are cared for by maintenance materials produced by the company that clean and nourish the surface in the same way that cosmetics care for skin. “Our products are made for life,” says Hansen. “Our special processing and finishing make it possible to go ahead and work with lots of water. That makes not only cleaning easier but makes it possible to utilise our products in bathrooms, wet rooms and under climatically demanding conditions.” The company’s attention to detail is at the heart of its concept of sustainability.

    Hand In Glove

    For clients, the beauty of a handmade, natural product lies in the collaboration they experience with the factory. Interior designers and architects are afforded the greatest flexibility in selection and development, while working directly with the manufacturing team means simplified coordination and execution of orders and delivery.

    The tight mesh between client and company, allows Schotten & Hansen to deliver a degree of support unsurpassed in construction. That link allows this premium product to be installed under extreme deadline pressure and in the most luxurious of circumstances. That’s why Schotten & Hansen flooring and finishes have found their way into some of the most high-profile environments on the planet.

    In the famed retail outlets of the De Beers chain, the Antonio Citterio-designed outlets make liberal use of ebony-coloured wood tones. In the spa and fitness zone of the Fairmont Hotel in Hamburg, more neutral tones have been selected. And across the seven hotels in the Firmdale Hotels chain in London and New York, all public areas – and some that handle heavy-duty maintenance tasks – have Schotten & Hansen flooring.

    Each is a case study in the type of grace, elegance and durability under fire, and each is as unique as Torben Hansen’s approach to an exceptional construction material.



    An experience that will change your perception of wood! 

    Please RSVP to join for a private tour – it will be the only change to witness the woodworking secrets of Toren Hansen in Hong Kong from 4 – 6 May, 2016 at Build4Aisa Exhibition.

    Download the Appointment Confirmation Letter or Call +852 2833 6069 for furhter information.




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