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Finalist

Liquidlux

Designed by: Donald John Wilson and Nathan James Bates (UK)

Liquidlux 1

Introduction

Environmentally responsible hotels already operate schemes to conserve water, reduce detergent usage and waste. This concept builds on the need for hotels to become more environmentally sustainable, and still provide a luxurious experience for patrons. Liquidlux offers a flexible interior system that can be designed to create an oasis of “something completely different” within a standard hotel room. This concept combines personal relaxation and well-being with ecological sustainability. It mixes innovative technology with standard building methods to achieve aspirational bathroom environments.

The concept

Liquidlux is a complete bathroom concept that conserves resources through a system of water recirculation and low-energy lighting fixed into a simple, economical frame. The framework can be clad with a variety of sheet materials and fixtures to create luxurious atmospheres in small spaces. A tired traveller can relax and rejuvenate without wasting water or energy.

The user experience & interior scheme

Liquidlux allows interior designers more freedom in creating beautiful spaces economically, through the creative use of cladding materials. In this example the interior cladding is hung in a linear fashion throughout the wet and dry areas. A smooth vitreous china “utility” band runs around the middle of the space, offering a consistent place for user touch-points. The controls for sink, shower and toilet are all housed within this band, which visually connects the translucent qualities of the upper walls and ceiling with the rich jungle flavours of the lower walls and floor. The floor modules are water-lilies cast into resin tiles. The tiles have a slightly curved surface, allowing water to run off into surrounding vitreous china trays, and into the re-circulating units in floor and walls. The lower wall panels are a commercially available “eco-resin” sheet, with digitally printed floral decoration, growing the luxury-jungle effects up into the vertical surfaces. The upper section of the wall cladding is a large semi-translucent glass panel, with a combination of mirror and frosted finishes to provide a light and airy atmosphere and imply greater physical space. Low voltage LED and electroluminescent lighting is housed behind the glass and in ceiling modules to produce a soft glowing luminance, complimenting users mood and appearance.

The build sequence

The concept begins with a simple slotted beam system, fabricated from lightweight galvanised steel sheet. The beams, which are pinned back to existing interior walls, provide cavities for routing and concealing plumbing and electrical wiring. The required amenities such as shower unit, toilet and basin are loosely plumbed in with flexible tubing, hooked onto the framework then fixed in place with concealed grub screws. Lastly flooring, lighting and cladding panels are hooked on to complete the space. Little or no “wet-work” plastering or tiling is required, and any vulnerable panel joints can be sealed simply with a bead of silicone. To prove the concept in a confined space, the bathroom shown here is 1m x 2m x 2m internally.

Fixtures

All modular fixtures have a restrained yet contemporary form which compliments the interior scheme rather than dominating it. Each unit combines clean vitreous china forms with softer user touch-points and the latest water conservation technology. To maximise available space, individual elements are concealed within wall panels wherever possible – like hand-dryers, clothing hooks and door handles. In the same manner, the toilet roll dispenser doubles as a soap dish in the shower cubicle. The user interface on each device is intuitive and accessible, with uncomplicated levers, handles and buttons. Water flow and temperature are indicated with a “volume” stripe, which is revealed when rotated.