Gaggenau continues to revolutionize the luxury kitchen appliance market—even after 340 years
In a world where nearly everything is disposable and fast fashion makes up more than 10 percent of pollution worldwide, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find a company that manages to not only survive long-term but thrive. Enter: Gaggenau, the German luxury kitchen appliance brand that, in 2023, will celebrate 340 years of exploration, innovation, and excellence. Withstanding the challenges the last three centuries have brought, Gaggenau proved to be flexible, always ahead of its time and of course, grounded in novelty.
“The Gaggenau story springs to life on the edge of the Black Forest in 1683 where the aristocratic ruler of the Baden region was Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden, hero of the Imperial Army,” recounts Heather Ryan, director of sales and marketing for Gaggenau North America. “It was there that he established a smelting plant and a hammer mill and nail forge in Gaggenau in 1683.”
In the early 20th century, the company shifted from manufacturing high-end bicycles and enamel-swathed signage, a skill that taught the craftsmen quality and distinctive design, to enamel for ovens. This creative pivot, according to Ryan, “embodies the original spirit of German engineering in their quality, craftsmanship and precise manufacturing.”
Fast forward to 1956, when a Gaggenau heir, a chef by trade, took the reins of the company and decided to provide what he himself wanted to cook with. “He paved the way for the built-in kitchen revolution and in 1956, the first built-in, eye-level oven, separate cooktop and ventilation appliances were all brought to market,” says Ryan, adding that these early ideas became a part of Gaggenau’s Professional Kitchen Principle: Designing appliances that perform exceptionally while inspiring the home chef to create culinary masterpieces in their own home. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Gagganau was the appliance manufacturer of choice for the original 20th century foodie.
Gaggenau’s ability to adapt in an ever-changing world is precisely the tactic that has enabled them to pioneer through the centuries. “Rather than follow others or seek to lead them, Gaggenau simply strives to produce the finest quality to benefit the culinary experience,” says Ryan.
“These appliances are what you live with, in your home, with your family, but we also want to inspire people to do something different with the tools they have,” adds Sven Baacke, head of Design + Art Direction. “It’s about creating something that can become a whole way of life.”
For famed international interior designer, César Giraldo, no other appliance manufacturer will do—it must be Gaggenau. A grand home in Hawaii, one of his latest projects, artfully blends the beautiful seaside landscape with interior entertaining, and he counts the Gaggenau 400 series appliances as one of the reasons the inside/outside living space blends so well.
“Their unique combination of innovative features and sleek design immensely appealed to my client and also brought together functionality as well as aesthetic harmony to the kitchen,” says Giraldo. “We wanted to ensure that as one moved indoor to outdoor that the experience was very pleasant, without feeling an intense contrast.”
He adds that this transition was accomplished with ease, thanks to Gaggenau’s appliances, which he calls “timeless and impeccably designed,” to “seamlessly integrate with the interiors of the home to express luxury through form and function, evoking the emotion of exclusivity in a comfortable and elegant living.”
With centuries of experience under its belt, Gaggenau is proof that tradition will always beat trendy. “As we look to the future,” muses Ryan, “what we do know is that if the kitchen is the heart of the home, then Gaggenau is its soul.”