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Bisque Blog


Bisque through the ages

June 10th, 2021

Bisque through the ages

With forty-one years behind us, Bisque certainly is a business with a legacy! And at that, one steeped in design credentials, impressive collaborations and littered with numerous show-stopping products. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the history behind the brand, read on!

Origin

Bisque was formed in 1979 by Geoffrey Ward and John Gordon. Originally, the two had been plumbers; they were operating from a shop unit in Kilburn, a store many original Bisque customers may remember. Legend goes, that the local council instructed Ward and Gordon they must be operating as a retail business to work from the unit, at which point they promptly pulled out a colourful towel rad they found on their travels across Europe years earlier, and displayed it pride of place in the shop window. The colourful towel rail was so unique, it brought several customers in over the coming days – and from there, they noticed a gap in the market for striking, design led radiators. As such, Bisque – and the UK’s first fashionable radiator – was born!

The Hot Spring

In 1997, 20 years after Bisque was formed, one of its most iconic products was released. The Hot Spring sports a sleek yet snazzy coiled design akin to that of, would you guess it, a spring! Not only one of our most instantly recognisable designs, the Hot Spring also marked one of Bisque’s most famous collaborations, with the legendary Paul Priestman (once named one of the Sunday Times’ most influential designers). The design went on to revolutionise what people thought possible from a radiator, and furthermore, has a strong design legacy thanks to its commendation as a winner of the Design Council Millennium Product award.

Leo Salzedo & the Archibald

Ten years later, in 2007, one of Bisque’s best-loved products launched - the Archibald. A piece with a unique body similar  to that of a coat hanger, the Archibald was designed as an ode to the world’s most famous butler, Jeeves, with a design that presents towels to the owner in a modern, avant-garde take on a traditionally recognisable silhouette in the world of service and hospitality.

Furthermore, this radiator also marks another key design collaboration for Bisque, this time with Leo Salzedo. Salzedo designed the radiator for the international Designboom competition, making his mark on the design industry. As such an innovative and eye-catching piece, it’s no wonder the Archie is one of our favourites, and a timeless classic in Bisque’s roster. Any recipient of one of our brochures from the past few years will recognised it from the front cover!

Present day

Since then, Bisque has achieved a myriad of accomplishments thanks to its focus on a fusion between form and function. Bisque has also been lucky enough to have been awarded a handful of fantastic accolades, such as being one of the nation’s CoolBrands for three years in a row, a multiple winner of Best Heating Brand by the BKU awards, and who could forget GQ proclaiming the Arteplano as one of the Coolest Things in the World? Finally, our most recent award win was for ‘Most Stylish Designer Heating Company’ by BUILD Magazine - you can read more about this achievement , here.

We have also more than diversified our offerings, with aluminium rads now available, as well as several new designs and finishes such as the Optic and the Earth Collection.

To find out more, you can head to our Timeline – just head to the ‘About Us’ page to learn more!

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