There could simply not be a better place to present the three winners of the “Axor Inspiration Projects” competition and award the prizes: The Portikus in Frankfurt is surrounded by the burble of the River Main flowing gently by and the noise of the cars that blast past the narrow-but-high gallery building designed by Christoph Mäckler. After all, the competition, which Axor launched together with Stylepark, focuses on a close inquiry into the element of water and how it can be presented or orchestrated. So the obvious thing to do was to celebrate the successful conclusion of the competition with a festival above the water.
The competition attracted ideas and new concepts on “Rooms and Water” from a total of 40 architects, designers and interior designers. The emphasis was on staging water and its properties without heeding norms or regulations. The ten most interesting sketches and visions were presented in the Portikus in Frankfurt on March 12. The jury had five members and included Axor Director Philippe Grohe, Stylepark founder Robert Volhard and Nicole Berganski of NKBAK architects, and that same evening they announced the three winners.
Among the winners were interior designers Sabine Krumrey and Susanne Brandherm of Brandherm + Krumrey Interior Architecture, whose “ReAct” installation is a real experience for the senses. Here, the visitor enters into contact with water without actually touching it – it is controlled by motion sensors and rains down on you in different intensities. “Soft Revolution” by Andrea Weitz and Jens Wendland of Raumkontor transforms the usually hard world of the bathroom into a soft space furnished with different textiles. And young designer Youyuan Zhao dreamed up “Spirit”, in which he has a dancer interact with water such that the movements of the dancer and those of the water constantly create new spaces. All three winners can now go into their ideas in greater depth – however, only one of the three projects will be elaborated to the extent where it is then realized. And the jury must first convene again to decide which it will be.
Photo © Adam Drobiec, Stylepark