The winner of the £20,000 top prize in the inaugural Bespoke Access Awards, which aim to encourage beautiful as well as function-accessible bedrooms, has been won by a joint venture between two companies.
The AllGo bedroom created by Motionspot, a company which specialises in accessible bathrooms, in collaboration with Ryder Architecture was praised by the judges for promoting "a unique approach to disabled facilities in hotels".
Baroness Celia Thompson, disabled rights campaigner and chair of the judging panel, who gave her name to the first prize, said at last night's presentation at the House of Lords: "The whole design was exactly the type of fresh perspective we were hoping to inspire when we launched the competition, and we were not disappointed."
Ed Warner, who founded Motionspot with his friend James Taylor, who was paralysed in a diving accident, said that the two companies were "blown away" by their success. "We shall now invest the prize money in working with hotels to raise awareness and show that it is possible to deliver a fully accessible bedroom that is compliant with all the necessary regulation, as well as being beautiful, regardless of budget," he explained.
Founded in April by Bespoke Hotels and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to encourage "a more joyful experience" for disabled guests, the competition attracted entries from around the world, including Germany, Russia, Hong Kong and Canada.
Robin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels and winner of the Outstanding Contribution award at the Hotel Cateys 2016 last week, said that he hoped that the awards will help "to remove hospital from the word hospitality" when it come to accessible rooms.
"Our aim was always to ignite the creativity of designers and architects around the world, and we were hugely impressed by both the diversity of submissions and the gusto with which they embraced the challenges set," he said.
Joining Baroness Thompson and Sheppard on the judging panel were architect Alan Stanton of Stanton Williams, Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, RIBA honorary fellow Rory Coonan, and senior designer David Day of Seymour Powell.
The full list of winners in the 2016 Bespoke Access Awards were:
- Motionspot & Ryder Architecture, London
- Winner of the Product Design Category (£5,000) PH Partnership Architects, County Durham
- Commended entrant in the Product Design category Rawstudio, London
- Winner of the Service Design category (£5,000) Paul Cahillane Studio, London
- Commended entrant in the Service Design category Pentan Architects, Cardiff
- Commended entrant Sepia Design Consultants, Hong Kong