Announced at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2017, the overall winner of the 2017 Innovative Showroom Awards (ISA) was the Walker Zanger headquarters. Designed by Kim Bernard, the executive director of facilities design for Walker Zanger, the showroom boasts organization, functional flow and a bit of drama.
“The overall space is calming and comfortable, with great lighting and of course, beautiful finishes − all of which builds confidence and puts the specifier’s clients at ease,” said ISA judge Ken Nisch, chairman of JGA, a branded environments design and strategy firm.
The showroom is filled with lifestyle vignettes to show how tile will look installed within a home or business. In addition, there are 47 unique floor displays.
The 91,000-sq.-ft. warehouse includes a slab gallery, where Walker Zanger displays most of its slabs, including uncommon slabs of onyx, soapstone and semi precious stone.
“A computer screen doesn’t do stone and tile justice,” said Bernard. “Clients need to come in and feel the materials, see the vignettes and walk on the tile to get a full grasp of the experience and aesthetic our products offer.”
The products are organized in the showroom based on basic category of offering: ceramic, stone, porcelain and glass.
Clients entering the main lobby are greeted with a grand limestone staircase and a 20-ft.-diameter medallion stone floor design.
“They have different products in different design aesthetics,” said ISA judge Jennie Mosely of St. Simons Island, Ga.-based Simmer & Soak Kitchen & Bath. “Different meeting areas and fully tiled, functioning bathrooms help to show off more products.”
When suppliers visit, they have direct access to a conference room designed specifically for those needs.
The facility includes eco-friendly elements such as electric car charging ports, bicycle storage lockers, LED lighting and drought-tolerant landscaping.