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    Gold-gilded basin wins at 2014 Reece BIA

    Nathan Johnson

    A column vanity that incorporates a gold-gilded basin has taken out the top-prize at the 2014 Reece Bathroom Innovation Awards and earned its designer, Michael Hoppe, $10,000 for his efforts.

    Combining mirrors, sink, drawers, seat and storage into one cohesive bathroom furniture piece, the cylinder was the professional category winner and has since been prototyped by vanity unit manufacturers Omvivo.

    Keeping with the award’s central theme,‘rethinking of the vanity unit’, the 2014 students winner was Monash University industrial design student Queena Le whose modular vanity trumped her student competition.

    It features a perforated sliding grate that instantly transforms the basin into an extended bench surface, along with detachable and repositionable drawers and flat surface taps that act as shelves.

    This year’s judges praised the simplicity and honesty of the design and it’s adaptability to the ever-changing needs of users.

    As well as securing a $5,000 cash prize, Le's BIA win will see her heading to Barcelona, Spain for a two week internship with design team at Roca, one of the world’s leading bathroom product manufacturers.

    This year’s BIA winners were selected by a panel representing the very best of Australian and international design including Fleur Sibbel and Wilhelmina McCarroll (Zuster), Suzie Dyson (Omvivo), Mark Tuckey, Zahava Elenberg (Move-In), Justin Wagemakers (Blue Sky Design), Roberto Palomba (Ludovica+Roberto Palomba) and Josep Congost (Roca).

    More details on the judging panel here:

    Cylinder by Michael Hoppe, (Hop Design).

    “Many of the bathrooms we see marketed are palatial – bigger than lounge rooms,” said Hoppe.  

    “But the reality is somewhat different. For many, houses – and their bathrooms – are getting more compact and it was important that my design reflected this.”


    Balans by Queena Le

    “My design is all about trying to create as much functional space as possible while maintaining a slim, contemporary design,” said Le.  

    The last apartment I lived in had a his/her vanity unit and I only ever used the one sink. I thought, ‘Hey, I should be using the other space’.”

    Images: supplied.

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