Five architectural designers imagine their dream restrooms.
“Escape Room” By Marc Thorpe of Marc Thorpe Design
The restroom should be “a destination, a place you can escape,” says Thorpe. “There’s a table for women to put their bags, maybe grab a magazine. To the left is a lounge area. It’s a place for gathering and talking and maybe even gossiping. On the perimeter are satellite wash stations.”
“Escape Room” (cont.)
The wall features digital media. “It will be either a screen or a series of projections making the movement of the water,” says Thorpe. “It’s intended to be soothing and feminine and cool. Behind that, concealed, are the actual stalls, with modern toilets and amenities.”
By Kyle May of Abrahams-May Architects
“This setup is about the workday break: for coffee, phone calls, or a stroll around the park,” says May. “It’s really about the bathroom as the outhouse—spatially separate, away from the office.” So you can stroll into the bathroom and disappear forever.
The design features access to the outside world. “Everyone thinks you’re going into the bathroom,” says May, “but you can walk out the door and come back later without anyone noticing.”
By Joe Doucet of Joe Doucet Studio
Placing the sink in a central configuration “will force people to stop and wash their hands, as anyone seeing them exit would know they have not yet,” says Doucet. “The additional benefit would be lesser risk of colds and flu virus spreading through an organization.”
“Communal Sink” (cont.)
According to Doucet, most workers will admit that while in a bathroom stall “they are hunched over” their smartphones. “So we have proposed ‘the Shinter,’” he says, “a Bluetooth-enabled printer for e-mail, current stock prices, or funny cat photos in complete privacy.”
By Hiroshi Jacobs and Sophia Lau of Hiroshi Architects
The layers represent an outdoor topography “filled with light for whimsical indoor plant life,” says Lau. “The varied subdivisions can be stocked with a variety of amenities for employees.”
In addition to “fully private bathrooms,” says Lau, there are “wellness rooms, rest areas, showers, lockers, and small spaces for private phone calls. This is a fully tailored suite, with views to the sky, freshened air, a bit of vitamin D.”
By Matthew Hoffman and Francesca Guiliani of Art Meadow
The bathrooms are unisex. “The division between men’s and women’s bathrooms is dissolved to encourage communication between the whole team,” says Hoffman.
The centerpiece is a collection of futuristic, vertical sinks with water cascading down from the top. “It’s a high-tech water system that is activated by placing hands close to the surface,” says Hoffman. “The magic lies in taking something banal like a typical sink and reinventing it.”