Pirnar’s showroom in Ljubljana.
Pirnar used to be a simple family craft workshop making solid wood doors since 1968. The small company evolved into one of the global technological leaders in their niche. Their latest product, the Theatrica “entrance wall” is completely smooth with no handles or locks. The built-in face recognition system recognizes the homeowner, and automatically opens and closes the doors. A similar solution is Pirnar’s One Touch front door system which uses a hidden fingerprint scanner. Both systems have received several awards, like the German Design Award, German Innovation Award, and an honorable mention in this year’s Red Dot Design Award competition.
By innovating and delivering top-notch design, Pirnar has grown from a simple workshop into a fast-growing SME selling their solutions all over the globe. In a way Pirnar is a star example of the Slovenian door and window industry: in a few decades it evolved from manufacturing of generic wooden, metal and glass products into a provider of products with high level of value added and a clear position in a narrow niche. Sora M, another successful SME, succeeded on the French market with their large panoramic windows for energy efficient passive houses. Now they focus on development of smart windows with built in sensors and systems for automatic opening and closing. Moreover, this smart window could even be used as a computer monitor.
Yet it is not only high tech that is important – many buyers still prefer classical well-made wooden doors and windows. The largest door and windows producer in Slovenia – and in the whole Southeastern Europe – is Lip Bled. 45 percent of their sales are made on demanding German and Austrian markets. Other key markets for the Bled based company are France, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The formula of Lip’s success: small series, flexible production and a high level of customization and adaptation to the needs of individual customer. The second key element is technological functionality: Lip’s doors offer a high level of resilience to extreme climate conditions, outsanding fire safety, sound insulation and protection against smoke.
A few more examples of successful Slovenian producers of doors and windows: Gašper, AJM, Doors or Protherm. These companies may be not as sophisticated as Pirnar, Sora M or Lip Bled, yet they all follow a similar formula: small series, high adaptability, top quality and narrow focus on niche markets.