LIQUIDRed: Designing A Bathroom For An Abstract King

Channelling inspiration from the renowned South African abstract artist, Walter Whall Battiss.

LIQUIDRed’s Inspired Design campaign with leading design school, Greenside Design Center (GDC) and multi award-winning space planning and interior architecture company, Paragon Interface has culminated in a showcase of incredible design and creative firsts by an extraordinary group of talented design students.

The campaign, which kicked off in August, invited Greenside Design Center students to submit bathroom design concepts specific to the measurements associated with one of two fictitious hotels based in Johannesburg, The Battiss or The Malbec, for a chance to win a paid internship at Paragon Interface. The participating students were adjudicated according to their ability to design a bathroom that illustrated their understanding of colour and texture compositions, innovation and representations of a hotel bathroom. All the designs were required to incorporate LIQUIDRed products, design ergonomics, and sustainable lighting and plumbing, using different materials and spatial planning concepts, and all under strict budget guidelines.

Both finalists selected The Battiss Hotel in Maboneng inspired by abstract artist, Walter Whall Battiss.

Design rationale: Nicole Goldstein

I consider myself to be a very energetic person with lots of stamina,” says Nicole Goldstein, finalist of the Inspired Design campaign. “My personality can be described as ‘perfectionist meets happy-go-lucky’. I am not a trend follower, and love timeless pieces in a minimalist space that offers efficiency and practicality.”

Nicole’s rationale for her design came from Walter’s celebrated artworks. “His work was contemporary, open-minded and quirky, which really gave me a sense of freedom when designing this space,” says Nicole. Walter’s art was inspired by primitive art, archaeology, pre-Islamic cultures and Greek influences, and displayed imaginary people, plants and animals. “Walter referenced his inspiration as coming from his ‘Island of Imagination’, so I used this as my motivation for my ‘Bathroom of Imagination’, which takes guests on an unconscious journey through Walter’s legacy,” explains Nicole.

Nicole used a vivid colour palette to honour impressionist painters, and the feature wall displays a contemporary print to honour Battiss’ style of realism. The aesthetics incorporate unusual surfaces to add to the eclecticism, and the walls cladded with blue IBR sheets have been inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. Nicole has elected to use a multi-coloured and very playful Kitsch Terrazzo as opposed to marble. “The results of a blended culture using Maboneng as the backdrop has resulted in a hybrid bathroom, with an open-plan adjacent dressingroom that harmoniously offers guests form and function,” says Nicole.

Nicole chose to use LIQUIDRed’s Solace Tapware range and Felicity Bathroom Accessories  in the industrial matt black finish, as she believed these ranges added to the subtle references of the past with their curved design form. “My design of The Battiss Hotel bathroom has a gritty sheen which aligns perfectly with the Maboneng’s unique and flavoursome urban neighbourhood,” concludes Nicole.

Design rationale: Makhafola Boikanyo

Other finalist, Makhafola Boikanyo, describes Maboneng as “the artsy ‘niche’ sister to downtown Johannesburg”, and conducted in-depth research and interpretation of Walter Battiss’ art that would enhance the culture of the area when designing the bathroom space. “Each element of the space has been designed to provoke emotion and arouse the curious nature of humans that urges them to physically interact with the space,” says Boikanyo. “Numerous objects in the space have intentionally been selected for their similar surfaces varying only in texture, form and finish,” he says.

Both finalists have expressed the internship with Paragon Interface as being a career game-changer for them. “The internship at Paragon Interface would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity working with award-winning architects, interior architects and designers on amazing projects,” declares Nicole. “I believe an internship with one of the leading design companies in the industry would give me an opportunity to enhance my skills as not only a designer, but also as a person,” echoes Boikanyo.

Paragon Interface

Paragon Interface is proud to have been a part of this inspiring competition, where the astonishing results speak for themselves. Both Nicole and Boikanyo demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of space, colour and texture. The experience of realising their design in a one-to-one mock up proved invaluable to both candidates. A clear winner emerged, namely Nicole. Experience and a keen eye for detail resulted in a beautiful and contemporary take on a Battiss-inspired hotel bathroom.

Nicole has been offered an internship while Boikanyo is commended on his fresh approach and perseverance throughout the process. His bathroom design is innovative and fun, a talking point for any trendy hotel. It is for these reasons that he too has been offered an internship, a year-long mentorship programme that will bridge the gap between the theoretical and practical.

Paragon Interface would like to express their gratitude to LIQUIDRed, and commend Greenside Design Center for producing outstanding candidates. Claire D’Adorante, Paragon Interface Director, concludes: ‘We are excited to mentor and work with talented young minds. Thank you to Greenside Design Center for honing their skills, and to LIQUIDRed for this opportunity.”

Andrew Taylor, Managing Director for LIQUIDRed, simply says: “WOW! “It is incredibly humbling to see a group of young students come up with these concepts, let alone their inspiration and rationale for where the design comes from.” he continues: “Based on the creative and development process we undertake with every one of our LIQUIDRed ranges, we can truly appreciate the value of where and how these students have created their Inspired Design submissions. Thank you to Paragon Interface for this partnership, it has been a pleasure to work with world-renowned partners that are as passionate about design and innovation as we are.”

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