When the Dream in Kohler South Africa design competition was launched in March 2018, the team and the contestants didn’t really know what to expect and where the search for the ‘dream bathroom’ would all take them. After several hundred entries were received, they were vetted for the judging panel to hone in on three projects that they thought were not only outstanding but represented the current trends and tendencies in South African design. Michael Bennet, Wilh van der Merwe, and Miguel Da Silva were put on the spot at www.africadreaminkohler.com where the public could vote for their favorite bathroom design until the beginning of June. In addition, visitors at Design Joburg had a chance to give their vote in person at the Kohler booth. Everyone on- and offline raves about Wilh van der Merwe’s Natural Nature bathroom design. It received most of the clicks and comments and most public votes on the website. The team was more than happy to pronounce him the winner of this amazing competition. Seeing the dream bathroom on paper and on screen was one thing but experiencing the space in 3D and walking through it was quite another. For 100% Design South Africa at Decorex Joburg, Kohler South Africa built Wilh van der Merwe’s dream bathroom as the exhibition booth. We also had a chance to sit down with him to talk about his design vision and inspiration. Wilh’s idea was to create and design a space close to nature picking up the current trends in South Africa integrating nature in the interior space. For the perfect bathroom, Wilh van der Merwe strove for a natural state that is peaceful, in synergy with the surrounding and has a certain flow to it. The overall concept encompasses harmony and balance that is also reflected in the products such as the Veil freestanding bathtub and intelligent toilet, the Beitou and Composed faucets and accessories with their well-balanced, ergonomic forms. They beautifully fit into the wood-clad space that has great and appropriate zoning. The play with natural light and hidden artificial lighting add to the warmth of the space, enhance the use of wood and bamboo, and brings out every detail of the design. A designer’s desire to be understood and appreciated is a constant drive to create designs and spaces that please customers, himself, and a wider design community. With this pod-like, private bathroom space, Wilh has beaten the competition and created a bathroom that is very pleasing to the eye and is at the same time functional. Congratulations to the winner.
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