Tell us something about Bauporte.
Bauporte was started by Karel Bouman in 1992 in Amsterdam. Bouman took over the German company Grothkarst in 1996 who were a German door producer. They had been making high-quality doors since 1908. The reason to start the business was to fill a gap in the market for custom-made doors. The market was full of companies making standard revolving doors but Bauporte has found a niche where clients want and expect something special. To date, we have produced doors over 9m tall and 6m wide with a reach across Europe, UK, Caribbean, USA, and Iceland.
The brand has recently opened its Dubai office. How has been the response so far?
In the first six months of operation, Bauporte Gulf has secured new projects with Omniyat at Opus and Dubai Real Estate Company in their new offices at Jumeirah. Enquires and negotiations are ongoing in Kuwait, India, Korea, and Saudi Arabia as well. The response so far has been really encouraging, far more than we expected in our first year.
Could you tell us more about your first project in the UAE—Museum of the Future?
In 2018, Bauporte were appointed to produce the custom-designed revolving doors for the Museum of the Future. A collaborative design with Shaun Killa and Meraas, the doors will be 4m wide and 5m high with an all-glass construction including the canopy. With a single floor mounted drive, this will be the first-of-its-kind in the UAE. The doors are due for completion on site this year in advance of the museum opening in 2020.
What kind of materials you usually work with and why?
Bauporte produces doors using stainless steel, the best German motors, and high-quality European glass. We believe that this makes the difference in quality, which means we can offer customers a lifetime warranty rather than the usual 12 months. We are currently reviewing the use of IOT sensor kits to provide real-time data on all our installations.
Who are your key clients?
Our clients are usually developers and building owners, but we often work for main contractors and facade specialists when the doors are included within the façade package.
What are the biggest challenges you are currently facing?
I genuinely think there are two issues in our business right now. First, clients have great expectations in terms of the quality of the product, but when the project is awarded to a contractor, because of the budget constraint, he ends up procuring a cheaper door. Another issue that I have noticed is that the payment in the region is delayed on every project, the specialists blame the main contractor and the main contractor blames the client. With the doors always being the last item to be installed, these delays in the cash flow can make budgeting and planning extremely difficult.
How do you see the industry at the large here?
As discussed above, the market is very challenging at the moment. I think the Dubai market might slow down after 2020 but other markets have a positive outlook especially Kuwait, KSA, and India.
What are in your opinion the upcoming trends?
Price is always an issue but more and more architects realise that the entrance is the most important part of the building and therefore deserves special attention. Glass doors are getting popular, doors, which are taller than the usual height, are also in trend (we currently have a project in Moscow with 8.5m tall revolving doors). We can offer remote access to the doors. Another amazing thing is that doors are getting more intelligent with the introduction of IOT and the ability to be net zero.
What’s next for Bauporte?
We expect a positive 2019 in this region. Also, markets such as Kuwait, KSA, and India are showing great signs of business growth. We expect to have a second factory in Europe this year and possibly to start our own production in the Middle East by the end of 2020.