The history of the Runtal brand.
Runtal was founded in 1953 by engineer Egon Runte and architect Jürg Altherr. The firm quickly made a name for itself on the Swiss market with its innovative steel radiators, with convectors and heating panels providing an alternative to conventional tube radiators.
Originally based in St. Blaise, in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel, in the late 1970s the firm relocated to Wil in the canton of St. Gallen.
The new company’s first product provided a taste of the exciting and innovative ideas to come: a convector for indirect ceiling-mounted heating. Other pioneering developments included the Convector C, an elegant product with fins visible on both sides; a new method of heating; and the first fast-acting hot water heating system, one example of which can be found in the Heidi Weber Museum designed by Le Corbusier (1967) in Zurich. There were also the heating panels named V, VL and H, which, like the Convector C, were made of flat oval tubes and are now part of the architecture of their era. The radiators R 1000 and R 2000 were admired by architects all over the world and installed in schools, hospitals and public buildings. They were the predecessors of the RUNTAL RX, a design which still reveals something of the original 1964 models.
The oil crisis of 1973 and the appearance of newer and cheaper products from aggressive competitors diminished the company’s position on the heating market.
Not until 1981 did Runtal begin to innovate again, this time creating simpler, better and more inexpensive products. This was assisted by a new strategic orientation, new production technologies including laser and resistance welding, modern control technology, and a further reduction in tube diameter. This reorientation, combined with the granting of licences to local companies, made Runtal an international brand, represented in Japan, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, Denmark and the USA.
In 1988 Runtal was acquired by the Zehnder Group, based in Gränichen, Switzerland. Since then, in keeping with the tradition of its founders, the brand has been synonymous with state-of-the-art technology, continual innovation, pioneering design, inexhaustible invention and unique production expertise.