Architects to launch prototype for accessible hotel room design after winning Celia Thomas Prize
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Architects to launch prototype for accessible hotel room design after winning Celia Thomas Prize

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Our collaboration has allowed us to create aspirational and inclusive environments for all. We hope that this paves the way in accessible design, illustrating that good design should meet the needs of all
– David McMahon, Ryder architecture associate

Design studios Motionspot and Ryder Architecture have been crowned winners of the Celia Thomas Prize, which promotes hotel design that is accessible for disabled people.

The international accolade, which was presented at the RIBA Bespoke Access Awards in London, received submissions from as far afield as Germany, Russia, Hong Kong and Canada.

The winning concept, called AllGo, is a universal approach to hotel room design that ensures all rooms are functional, flexible, accessible and beautiful in their design. Each room can be adapted to the needs of the user through integrated and flexible design features that can be modified before the arrival of a guest.

Motionspot and Ryder, who have been awarded £20,000 (US$25,000, €24,000) in prize money, are now hoping to develop the concept by rolling out pilot rooms in 2017, creating a catalyst to drive other studios to follow their lead.

“Our collaboration has allowed us to create aspirational and inclusive environments for all,” said David McMahon, associate at Ryder. “We hope that this paves the way in accessible design, illustrating that good design should meet the needs of all.”

Ed Warner, founder of Motionspot, which specialises in inclusive design, added: “Accessible hotel room design can be a real headache for architects, hotel operators and users alike. “The competition gave us the opportunity to create a concept that redefines the design of hotel bedrooms and bathrooms so they deliver the the individual access requirements of guests without compromising on the aesthetics of the environment.”

The entries were judged by a panel which included Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Stirling Prize winning architect Alan Stanton, and Baroness Celia Thomas - a peer in the House of Lords and campaigner for the rights of disabled people.

The Bespoke Access Awards – which also celebrated excellence in product and service design – were launched earlier this year by RIBA and the Bespoke Hotels company in order “to challenge the perception of hotel facilities set aside for disabled people as joyless, poorly-designed and over-medicalised.”

RIBA pledged to promote particularly innovative and potentially realisable ideas “for the benefit of the hotel industry worldwide”.

It added that the initiative aims to draw on the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, “which drew worldwide attention to the capacities of those with disabilities and – in the Olympic venues themselves - to the importance of good design.”

Awards ceremonies are being seen by the industry as an impactful way of promoting the importance of accessible design. In October, the first Blue Badge Style Awards were held to celebrate UK hospitality facilities that improve the experience for disabled guests. Design firm Conrad and Partners were among the winners for their work on the German Gymnasium restaurant in King’s Cross, London.

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Design studios Motionspot and Ryder Architecture have been crowned winners of the Celia Thomas Prize, which promotes hotel design that is accessible for disabled people.
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