Squash growth helped by class in glass
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
It was clear from the outset that the local market would become too small for the plans of ASB founder Horst Babinsky back in the mid-sixties.
Now, the pioneering and innovative German company is celebrating its 50th anniversary by publishing a glossy “coffee-table” book outlining ASB’s glorious history in pictures.
Babinsky launched his venture by producing the first plastic curtain tracks for the Bavarian market – and soon expanded with the building system “Trelement” which led to products being exported to Japan.
Horst Babinsky GmbH quickly became international!
The ASB construction system soon became the leader of the aluminium system builders and within just four years, more than 70 ASB kindergarten buildings were planned and built, followed by two huge office buildings, two buildings for the Max-Planck society, schools and pavilion constructions.
From the beginning ASB’s philosophy was: “ASB products must be the best by far”. And the ASB team followed this maxim full of enthusiasm.
But it was in the world of Squash that ASB truly led the way: In 1977, the first ASB SquashCourt was presented in the popular TV sports show “Das aktuelle Sportstudio”.
This signalled the beginning of a huge success of this completely new squash court design. The ASB system court reached 50% of the German-speaking market – and in the years that followed, more than 7000 ASB SquashCourts have been installed around the world.
Over these years ASB have constantly introduced innovations and further developments – eg. moveable side walls, the rotary glass back walls, the ASB System Walls, the height-adjustable tin, electronics for the squash court and also the ASB ShowGlassCourt. The company has been granted more than 40 patents!
In 1987 Horst Babinsky was presented the award for innovation by the squash press in Germany. In 2002, the ASB founder received a special award from the World Squash Federation (WSF) in Kuala Lumpur.
It was at the home of world squash, at the British Open in 1981, that a court was first successfully set up in a theatre, loaded on stage at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley as Australia’s Geoff Hunt won his final British Open title against the young upstart known as Jahangir Khan.
The ASB ShowGlassCourt was constantly developed and today it is impossible to imagine the World Squash Tour without this court. It has become the top product on the world market.
With the ASB GlassFloor came an additional focus, beyond squash. The first ASB GlassFloors were installed in ASB ShowGlassCourts and naturally resulted in huge discussions about the use of glass for sports.
But just as had been the case with the ASB system courts, the usual resistance was overcome and in 2009 the first ASB sports glass floor was installed in a school’s sports hall. The ASB GlassFloor has stood the test of time.
Christof Babinsky, who has taken over the innovating mantle of his father, is the director of this field of business. Under his direction the first projects have materialised – including the BT Sports Studio in London, where the marking lines for each sport can be chosen by simply pressing a button.
Further projects are on their way, such as the biggest GlassFloor order so far, the 2,000 sq metre Elbflorenz Events Hall which will be realised in Dresden, Germany.
The new book, titled ASB: 50 Years of Exceptional Success, will be published in July. For further details, visit asbsquash.com/contact/
Pictures courtesy of ASB