BauTeam Chicago combines European luxury and high-tech automation
June 1, 2021 | 7:41 am CDT
BauTeam Chicago

The Wall represents the traditional shaker door style throughout BauTeam’s innovative design. The bookshelf features a must-see hidden bar – the top door lifts by remote control.

Photo By BauTeam Chicago

BauTeam Chicago recently opened a showroom in LuxeHome, one of the largest collections of premier boutiques for homebuilding and renovation in Chicago.

Located on the first floor of the iconic Merchandise Mart in Chicago, the new showroom features the German company’s well-known luxury brands including BT45 German Kitchen Tailors, Bauformat, BauLux kitchens, BLT bathrooms, and BauCloset.

“We wanted to be in Chicago for quite some time, but we wanted to be in the Merchandise Mart only. So, when the opportunity opened, we were on board right away,” said Natasha Shtapauk, BauTeam Brand Ambassador.

BauTeam offers everything from extremely modern and sleek to traditional cozy kitchens. Additionally, the company features solutions for every room in the home, including, living rooms, libraries, home offices, bedrooms, closets and wardrobes, bathrooms, storage cabinets, shelving, and much more.

The company has been in the United States for about seven years with showroom locations in several major cities – Las Vegas, New York, Seattle, and now Chicago, with Boston coming soon. 

Kitchens were BauTeam’s primary focus but after the company started growing in the US market, it noticed that many of the designers and homeowners who came to them for kitchens, also needed closets, especially for new construction. They wanted high-end products and cabinetry not just in the kitchen but in the closet as well.

“And we thought ‘Okay we’re producing the boxes for kitchens already, so why can’t we just produce the closets?’” Shtapauk said. “So, that’s how we created our first line of closets. “It’s based on 25 millimeters, which is one-inch-thick panels. Everything is custom. It was a very smooth transition for us to add that line, but people love it because they can just come to one place and they can order everything.”

BauTeam also has a glass wardrobe system. They were already building super-tall doors up to 10 feet tall with aluminum frames and glass, “so, we have an engineer who got an idea okay if we’re already doing those doors, let’s just create a glass wardrobe. So, that’s how we created our glass wardrobe,” she said. There are approximately 50 different color options for the glass and three different options for the aluminum frame.

History of BauTeam

BauTeam is a lifestyle group of companies characterized by its sense of style and a love for design and architecture, incorporating the most innovative and sophisticated German technologies. 

The German company is more than 103 years old with state-of-the-art production facilities using high-end woodworking technology.

“We’re very old with a big history behind the company,” Shtapauk said. “It was right at the beginning of the [20th] century when…the grandfather of our current owner decided to create something. Basically, they were creating small kitchens, which are not exactly like kitchens we know today. It’s just a few cabinets for storage with a sink in the middle - something like little dressers. Those kitchens…are really fascinating [and they are] in the museum of our company.”

Shtapauk added that after building those kitchens, they would then take them on the back of their bicycles to the local flea market where they were a hit with the local residents. “People wanted their kitchens. So, they started doing automatization, building a factory, hiring people. And now, we have two factories in Germany, in eastern Germany, and in western Germany. And we have a capability of producing over 1,000 kitchens per day.”

It takes about 50 minutes for the factory to produce one modular kitchen unit in the high-tech plants. “There are no humans in the factory, only robots,” she explained. “We have people who put the order into the computer with a special code, and then the robots just track everything, edgeband, build the boxes, and they just come out of the conveyor already assembled.”

Shtapauk said that BauTeam has been automated since the Second World War and after the industrial revolution. And the company continues to invest in new technology by purchasing equipment and machinery every year, which lets it take advantage of the latest advancements in the market. “Before it was always an assembly machine or edgebanding machine. Now, it’s like special laser cut. So, depending on the overall direction of the market, what kind of styles people are buying, and what is the kitchen fashion. For example, now everybody wants to buy kitchens with ceramic or porcelain door fronts. So, we have a special machine which cuts the porcelain.”

Design trends

Porcelain door fronts are a trend that Shtapauk said is translating well in the US market. She noted that the new Chicago showroom has a marble kitchen near the front. So, when a customer enters, that is the first thing they see.

“Designers wanted to have marble or ceramic countertops all the time. But for some designers it was very complicated - it was a challenge to put the right front and the right countertop if they wanted to create something minimalistic, especially which is in European design, right? So, and that’s why we created a special line which has the same door front and the same countertop. So, you don’t have to think what exactly is going to be the door, you can just do the whole kitchen in one color.”

An example of their work with marble is BauTeam’s BT45 CG kitchen, which received an award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. That kitchen has continuous book-matched marble lines going through the countertop and the door front. When you see it, it looks just like a marble look. But then you touch door fronts and they open up, and it’s a very nice magical feeling of how this whole structure works, Shtapauk said. 

BauTeam sources its marble slabs from a facility near Venice, Italy, and occasionally sends customers there so they can pick the marble slabs themselves. From there, the marble is shipped to their German factories where they are cut to size, using BauTeam’s sophisticated equipment and placed on aluminum honeycomb substrate. It is a special technology that is unique to the company.

For more information about BauTeam, visit bauteam.com.
 

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About the author
Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.