IKON by Vortex Spas was announced a winner of Australia’s top industry design awards – the highest honour for design and innovation in the country – at the 61st annual Good Design Awards ceremony in Sydney.
IKON won a prestigious Good Design Award Gold accolade for outstanding design and innovation in the product design category. These international design awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market, and excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design.
Vortex Leisure is the largest spa supplier in the Southern Hemisphere and largest Australian retailer under the Spa World brand. Vortex’s award-winning IKON spa is an elegant and contemporary spa inspired by luxury marine environments and modern architecture.
Vortex Leisure CEO Andrew Pullen says the Good Award win is a hugely significant achievement for the company. “It is fantastic recognition for the collaborative team effort that has gone into the design and production of IKON spa. We had an amazing Australasian design team of architects, designers, engineers, mould makers, and electronic specialists all involved to create what’s become the ‘concept car’ of the spa industry,” he says.
“The IKON pushes all of the boundaries and is exactly what we were hoping to achieve: a spa that is refined and beautiful, yet retains all the functionality of a conventional spa.”
The Good Design Awards jury praised IKON on its “stunning design”.
“Luxurious and modern, high quality, and with a unique design that transforms the traditional spa. The extra ledges for food and drinks are great additional features,” the jury commented.
Inspired by modern architecture, IKON moves away from the standard plastic square box and sits proudly on top of the landscape rather than sunk within it. Another significant innovation is IKON’s shape, with its faceted irregular polygon form and top deck under a design patent. For the first time, light weight, floating architectural stairs are integrated into the main spa design.
IKON’s architectural cabinetry is made from aluminium composite cladding, the same material used on the exterior of the Dubai train station, and its maintenance free Flexi-teek decking is used on super yachts.
To pull off the ambitious vision for IKON, Vortex engaged award-winning architect Jorgen Andersen and international automotive and product designer Alain Brideson to collaborate on the prototype. Brideson says he jumped at the opportunity to be involved.
“This has been one of most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on,” he says. “Everyone had a very open mindset throughout the whole design process. We would come up with a crazy idea and instead of saying ‘no that’s not going to work’, the Vortex team would say ‘let’s give it a go and see where it leads us’.”
Of the win, Brideson says: “The GoodDesign Awards are a big deal for the design community. For IKON to win Gold in one of the most prestigious design awards internationally is validation that it is a truly ground-breaking design.”
Architect Jorgen Andersen says generally architects are not fans of traditional spas. “They’re big, ugly, plastic boxes that we would rather hide around the back of our houses or bury in a deck. The aim for this project was to design a spa that architects like myself would recommend to our clients and feature in our builds,” Andersen says. “This recognition by Australia’s design establishment is testament that that is exactly what we’ve created.” The Good Design Awards attracted a record number of submissions with close to 700 design projects evaluated in this year’s international design awards.