Isabel Eymael couldn’t be happier: “Our vision has become reality!” The Head of Marketing at SCHOTT ROBAX® is referring to a project that began back in October 2016. At that time, the ROBAX® Design Award had motivated creative students in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to design outdoor fireplaces with glass-ceramic fire viewing panels. More than 80 submissions had been received by January 2017. A top-class jury of renowned designers, a blogger and the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Häuser” selected the six best designs for special recognition.
Award-winning design translated into real product
The winners were honoured at an exclusive event in Frankfurt/Main that took place during the ISH fair in March 2017. Numerous SCHOTT customers who already use ROBAX® fire viewing panels in their products were also on hand at the festive “ROBAX® Design Night.” One of them, the German fireplace manufacturer Spartherm, was inspired by the design “Dome Fireplace” by interior design student Angela Wegmann, who won the competition. At the following charity auction, Spartherm purchased the design – going on to develop a new member of its family of outdoor gas fireplaces that entered the market in March 2018.
The well-shaped curves of Fuora K recall what was also important to the creators of the award: a modern design that sets the fire viewing panels at center stage for an atmospheric yet safe fireplace ambience outside. “This is a welcome addition to our family of Fuora gas fireplaces, filling the niche for demanding outdoor events that look to offer pure fire pleasure. It also strengthens our long-standing partnership with SCHOTT,” says Andreas Schönfeld, Sales Manager at Spartherm.
The outdoor fireplace and its special product features are now available on the market. Thanks to two 3D-formed ROBAX® dome panels, Fuora K offers the best view of the fire and the maximum enjoyment of a large fireplace. The powder-coated substructure made of two-millimeter thick sheet steel brings firelight to the ideal viewing height while holding an 11 kg liquid gas cylinder behind a door. This enables an atmospheric, adjustable flame image over a period of up to 30 hours. Castors and a rolling aid allow the user-friendly device to be moved easily and comfortably.
For Isabel Eymael, this fulfilled what the Design Award had aimed for: “We wanted to boost the market for outdoor fireplaces with fire viewing panels and above all motivate our customers to bring out products like this.” And something else was confirmed as well: glass-ceramic viewing panels enable the design of outdoor fireplaces to be reimagined, reviving the outdoor trend. The flat, round or angled ROBAX® panels are flexible enough to provide space for a wide variety of innovative fireplace product designs. “With ROBAX®, we offer much more than mere glass-ceramics, but also inspiration for exterior fireplace designs,” concludes Isabel Eymael. Those inspirations have now become a reality, kindling passion for outdoor fireplaces.