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An Insider’s Look at the Das Design Competition Winners


November 14, 2016

Hansgrohe USA has announced the results of its third-annual Hansgrohe + AXOR Das Design Competition. Open to U.S. architects and designers, the competition celebrates excellence in design, sustainability and installation of Hansgrohe and AXOR products in built projects.

After careful deliberation, a jury of established trade and shelter media and Hansgrohe representatives named one winner and three honorable mentions in the Residential Category. KBB spoke with each winner to find out more about the winning projects.

View a gallery of the winners here!

KBB: What do you think stood out about your project?

“We placed emphasis on building a cohesive design based on complementary fixtures and finishes that married the concept of outdoor living and indoor living. We had beautiful vistas and panoramic views to take advantage of with strategically placed picture windows.

    – Manuel Frausto, Palm Springs, Calif.-based PS Modern, LLC
Project: Camino Norte, Residential Winner

“This project honors the intent of the original 1960s architecture without adding to the original footprint. True to the ethos of the mid-century design, the client requested neither space nor furnishings be superfluous. Respecting the client’s wish not to add footage, the same footprint was kept – with the interior reconfigured to optimize circulation and storage – while preserving a seamless connection to the outdoor.”

          – Meedi Hidalgo, Houston, Texas-based Kuhl-Linscomb
Project: Willowick Remodel, Residential Honorable Mention

“Our aesthetic and something we like to do in every project is remodel a home (particularly mid-century modern homes) and reimagine them for today’s living.  We certainly do not want to rid the house of its architectural heritage, but we manipulate it in a way where we can pay homage to its roots while making it more functional. This project is a complete embodiment of this sentiment.”

                        -Kevin Kemper, Thunderbird Heights, Calif.-based H3K Design
Project: Swan House, Residential Honorable Mention

“One of the features that stood out on this project was the way products and materials were used to create a cohesive sense of design throughout the entire house, yet let each space have individuality as well. Using Hansgrohe’s line of fixtures was one way to achieve this, along with the use of color and materials.”

Rame Hruska, Houston, Texas-based Intexure Architects
                          Project: Heijnen-Kavelaars Garden Residence, Residential Honorable Mention

KBB: What were you challenged by in this project?

“The challenge we faced on Camino Norte was the scale of the home. The kitchen/great room and master bathroom had 12- and 10-ft.-high ceilings, accordingly. We had the challenge of making a person understand that this room was huge, but it wasn’t overwhelming. We had to choose finishes and fixtures that could capture people’s imagination and not allow them to get lost in the space. We wanted to focus not only on the volume of the space but the jewelry anchoring it as well.

David Weiss, Palm Springs, Calif.-based PS Modern, LLC
Project: Camino Norte, Residential Winner

“The challenge was to achieve a youthful elegance through easy-to-maintain materials aimed at a young family, with a disciplined budget. Other conditions were to keep within the same footprint, to provide more openness and illumination and to maximize storage.”

                      -Meedi Hidalgo, Houston, Texas-based Kuhl-Linscomb
Project: Willowick Remodel, Residential Honorable Mention

“The layout of the house was challenging. The original house had a very small kitchen, a compartmentalized his/hers master bath and a huge formal dining room.  We were able to make enough changes to have it function better for today’s lifestyle while preserving the overall MCM vibe.

                                  -Howard Hawkes, Thunderbird Heights, Calif.-based H3K Design
Project: Swan House, Residential Honorable Mention

“We incorporated many details into the home as part of the clean-line aesthetic. In order to execute these, everything has to be perfectly aligned. We solved this challenge through the use of BIM technology [a digital representation of a facility], allowing us to model the home down to finite details and coordinate with the subcontractors in the field.”

Rame Hruska, Houston, Texas-based Intexure Architects
                          Project: Heijnen-Kavelaars Garden Residence, Residential Honorable Mention

KBB: What was your favorite part of this design?

“We envision the space abstractly through the products and finishes we select beforehand. We like to imagine a space that no one has ever seen before to capture the attention of our audience. It is like a kid in a candy store; your eyes are open wide to the possibilities surrounding you. Nevertheless, with so much to see, it is our job as designers to make sure our audience’s attention rests on the beautiful fixtures adorning the space.”

David Weiss and Manuel Frausto, Palm Springs, Calif.-based PS Modern, LLC
          Project: Camino Norte, Residential Winner

“The best part of this wonderful project was teaming up with Houston-based Murphy Mears Architect and Thomsen and Company Construction.”

          – Meedi Hidalgo, Houston, Texas-based Kuhl-Linscomb
           Project: Willowick Remodel, Residential Honorable Mention

“We think the luxury of the master bathroom is our favorite. It’s very simple yet very elegant. And of course there’s the great room with its open kitchen.”

Kevin Kemper, Thunderbird Heights, Calif.-based H3K Design
        Project: Swan House, Residential Honorable Mention

“My favorite part of this design was the fact that our clients’ goals were aligned with our passions: creating a livable urban home, connecting spaces to nature and designing for sustainability. The two-story home sets a great example of urban infill, and the scale also creates comfortable livable spaces. The L-shaped home wraps around a garden and pool, bringing light and views of nature inside.  Sustainability was achieved through a variety of methods, including water-efficient fixtures from Hansgrohe, high-performance windows and AC system, as well as a solar array.”

                           -Rame Hruska, Houston, Texas-based Intexure Architects
                                Project: Heijnen-Kavelaars Garden Residence, Residential Honorable Mention