2022 Winners > Winners of Australia

National Representative


Title: Akuna (A Restorative Place)

Name: Jannine Christensen

School: Swinburne University of Technology

What is the inspiration for your design?
Akuna means flowing water.
Inspired by the restorative tranquillity of a flowing river to help unwind, think and reinvigorate. The only sounds are of the breeze rustling through the leaves of the trees, the gentle flow of the water and the occasional tweets of the wildlife. A place where the shadows portray patterns on the ground softening the harsh light of the sun producing welcoming areas to sit and think. This is a quiet place that restores balance, health and wellness from a fast-paced life. A safe haven.

Who is the target user and how does the design fulfill the need of the target user?
Target users are businesspeople, singles and couples on vacation. Life pressures have been amplified by COVID19, increasing tensions and causing people to be more tired and cautious. Relationships with oneself and others need to be restored. It has also transformed the way hospitality venues need to be designed to meet the new expectations and behaviours of customers. With many customers being lockdown during the pandemic, designers of resorts and hotels need to find solutions that are both functional and prevent the surface spread of germs. Most importantly, designs need to encumber the health and wellbeing of people whilst away from home for work or vacation. This design is not only functional but also restorative, a place where people can nurture their relationships, relax and enjoy a long soothing bath or a body massage utilizing the jets in the shower.

How does the design fulfill the theme for the chosen category?
Contrasting colours of the walls represent light and shadows on the ground. The colour pallet and artwork portray the tranquil ambience of a flowing river. A freestanding bath is the central restorative feature of the area. The curvature of the bath enables the user/users to relax against each end. Turn the lights down low and experience the restorative ambience on your own, as a couple, or simply take the time to read a book. Functional elements are provided by the toilet, shower recess and vanity.

How does the choice of products contribute to the purpose of the design?
Fixtures and fittings are curved to portray flow and healing. Timber, used for the partition and vanity, represent nature. Grey and white wall colours highlight the tranquil contrast between areas of light and shadow. Products have been chosen for their hygienic properties, such as: easy to clean wall panels with no grout; easy clean products such as the American Standard Double Vortex toilet system and the Geberit Sigma80 Electronic Button/Access plate, with electronic hands-free function. Hygiene is enhanced by contactless or low contact components for light and blind controls. These controls are activated by hand gestures when the user is within 5- 7cm of the plate.