Posts tagged with "Bathrooms":

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San Francisco’s public toilets get a futuristic redesign

San Francisco is one step closer to finalizing the redesign of its public, self-cleaning toilets.  On Monday, the city selected a futuristic design concept created by SmithGroupJJR from a trio proposals that included bids by Min Design and Branch Creative. The three finalists were unveiled in April, with SmithGroupJJR ultimately selected in an effort to boost the contemporary stylings of the city’s public facilities, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Works. Initially, 12 teams were in the running for the design competition.  The public toilets will operated by bus stop advertising agency JCDecaux and will be funded via income generated from informational and retail kiosks that will be deployed in conjunction with the toilets.  Bill Katz, design principal at SmithGroupJJR, told The San Francisco Chronicle, “The big idea is to combine sculpture and technology. We want an object that literally reflects the surroundings and the neighborhoods that it is in, but also will be forward-looking.” The changes come more than 20 years after San Francisco debuted an initial, Art Nouveaux-inspired public toilet concept in 1996 that has been loved and hated alike by the public. The forest green-colored, pill-shaped facilities are currently dispersed throughout San Francisco’s urban core and are also used in Los Angeles, among other localities. In all, the city aims to install or replace 28 public toilets and 114 kiosks in conjunction with the redesign.  The proposed bathroom facilities will make use of recycled water and are wrapped in reflective metal panels. Current plans call for topping the structures with a rooftop garden. Renderings for the concept include an integrated bench assembly and a ground-level planter, as well.  The new proposals, however, are not uniformly loved, either. Darcy Brown, executive director of the San Francisco Beautiful group, told The Chronicle, [It’s a] “pity we lean toward ‘modern,’ which has a shelf life, as opposed to classic, which is timeless.” San Francisco Beautiful opposed all three of the redesign concepts.  Next, SmithGroupJJR’s proposal will next head to the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission for joint approval. Approval is expected in the fall.
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Portland Building swaps around some single-gender and all-gender bathrooms

When the City of Portland converted its 600 municipally-owned single-stall restrooms into all-gender facilities back in 2016, the change included converting two multi-stall, single-gendered restrooms on the second floor of Michael Graves’s iconic Portland Building to all-gender facilities, as well. The multi-stall, all-gender restroom change is part of a city pilot program the city developed in conjunction with the $195 million renovation to Graves’s postmodern masterpiece led by architects DLR Group. The city is pursuing various alternatives to single-gendered bathroom facilities as a result of the passage of a recent bill aimed at “removing barriers to a safe and inclusive workplace for employees…  creating spaces which are welcoming to all visitors, and…  treating all people with respect and dignity,” according to the resolution instituting the changes. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, originally one of the proponents behind the move toward all-gender bathrooms, was not happy with the result in the multi-stall facilities, however, Willamette Week reports. The Portland City Commission has been meeting in the Portland Building while their usual meeting facilities undergo repairs and, after an inspection, the commissioner became critical of the new arrangement, saying via email to other commissioners, “Being alone in the facility, I was able to stand on the commode in one stall and peer over the top of the divider into the next. It is also easy to peer under the dividers.” Fritz even threatened to refuse to attend the meetings unless something was done about the situation. As a result of the tussle, City authorities moved in March to convert one of the two multi-stall restrooms on the second floor of the Portland Building back to a single-gendered, women’s room. In exchange, one of the multi-stall women’s rooms on the ground floor was converted to an all-gender facility. The change left some, like City Commissioner Nick Fish—an early supporter of all-gender restrooms who originally brought the resolution to Council last year—happier than they were before. Fish told Willamette Week that having all-gender facilities on two floors was better than having them only on one. But still, as Fritz pointed out, the design of the all-gender facilities leaves much to be desired in terms of privacy. The controversy will likely serve as a valuable lesson as the city’s pilot program—and not to mention the renovations to the Portland Building—move forward. The move comes as President Trump has moved in recent weeks to strip students the right to use bathrooms that coordinate with their preferred gender identity and amid a wider cultural rift regarding the use of bathrooms resulting from the passage of North Carolina’s controversial and discriminatory HB 2—the Public Facilities Privacy and —which sought to make it illegal for cities to expand anti-discrimination protections in public places and workplaces in the state.  
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You can use a solid gold toilet at the Guggenheim starting this weekend

If you have ever wanted to use a toilet cast in 18-karat gold, now is your chance.

Starting on Friday, September 16, Maurizio Cattelan's America opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. One of the public toilets in the museum will be replaced by a fully-functional gold replica. The super luxury product serves as social commentary on today's America by allowing the public to participate and giving them a very private, individual experience with the artwork. Cattelan is also taking aim at the art market and its extravagance as well as the American Dream (if your personal American Dream is to sit on a solid gold toilet). It's a signifier of wealth beyond what is comprehensible: Extreme luxury is coupled with a utilitarian bath product.

The toilet references Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917) but with a new twist. Rather than provoking the way art is made and its meaning, Catelan assigns a new function to the toilet as an object of opulence and financial speculation. Additionally, he puts the toilet back in the realm of function, acting as an "artistic transgression." The piece also references Piero Manzoni’s Artist’s Shit (1961) in which Manzoni allegedly canned his own excrement and sold each container at a price equal to its weight in gold. A comment on the value of labor and celebrity in the art market.

For more on the piece and Cattelan's cheeky sense of humor, see this interview on the Guggenheim website.

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Zaha Hadid–designed bathroom for Porcelanosa would fit right in on the International Space Station

A new collection of bath products, designed by Zaha Hadid, was created for Noken, a line by Porcelanosa that "specializes in bathroom elements, and brings sophisticated design in brassware, sanitary-ware, bathtubs, etc.," according to a press release from the brand. The selection of cosmic vanity, tub, hardware, and combination toilet/bidet contains no harsh edges, and flows from one piece to another. The fluid forms "evoke water...and for this reason it has been named Vitae (“life” in latin), because in water is where all sort of life begins." Spanish-based company Porcelanosa is a leader in kitchen and bath products, as well as tiles and solutions for contemporary architecture. They have grown to include eight separate companies, of which Noken deals in luxury design
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Gender-binary restrooms: A social problem with a design solution?

The deeply embedded practice of designing gender-segregated restrooms may feel like the norm to many, but in recent years, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals and the organizations that support them have voiced the everyday discomfort and sense of alienation felt by those who cannot use the restroom of their choice in public spaces. They point out that gender-segregated facilities inherently exclude people who might not conform to stereotypical gender definitions or modes of expression. Moreover, research shows that transgender and gender-nonconforming people of color specifically suffer under this status quo at disproportionately higher rates: both in terms of the health impacts resulting from not using the restroom for long periods of time and by experiencing violence in public restrooms. As this form of inequality gains a wider understanding, architects and designers must decide whether they wish to perpetuate inequality through their designs or advocate for change.

Joel Sanders, professor of architecture at Yale University and editor of Stud: Architectures of Masculinity, said, “Marginalized people want to gain access to these public spaces. One silver lining of culture wars is that they bring attention to important social issues: [Can we] create alternative bathroom design that’s good for people of all body types?”

The bathroom layout is among the first aspects of a building to be considered. The notion of a shared “wet wall” with gender-segregated plumbing facilities located on both sides is seen as a fundamentally efficient arrangement for a variety of building types. This prototypical approach is also perceived as being cheaper to build. But what is typically considered a perfunctory and banal aspect of design, contingent mainly on code-required fixture counts and wheelchair-turning radii, is actually ground zero for the perpetuation of gender-identity discrimination. That’s because this automatically embeds gender segregation into architecture from the onset of a project’s development and furthers what is increasingly being viewed as an unequal and discriminatory cultural mind-set through design.

Gender-segregated restrooms are also in the regulations and codes that guide design. Many municipalities require a minimum number of gendered stalls, but with the exception of a growing handful of cities, few require gender-neutral facilities as a matter of code. Further, municipalities that do make provisions for gender-neutral facilities often simply rebrand separated, single-stall suites like those provided for Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliance to double as gender-neutral facilities. The reliance on ADA stalls as a catchall for differently abled and gender-nonconforming individuals is seen by advocates as impractical in terms of the limited occupancy of these facilities as well as discriminatory in its segregation of those who do not conform to prototypical definitions of mobility and gender expression. As stated in a recently published editorial coauthored by Sanders and Susan Stryker in the Los Angeles Times, “Changing the signage on single-stall restrooms is easy, but it doesn’t address the underlying social structures that created unequal bathroom access in the first place.”

The emerging response to this new design problem has been slow to start, mainly with college and high school student-run LGBTQI organizations converting existing facilities to gender-neutral ones by removing placards demarcating binary gender identities. Columbia University and Barnard College in New York City began converting existing, single-occupant restroom facilities in 2013. The University of California system followed suit in 2014 with a similar plan across its ten campuses with 238,000 students.

In April 2016, Santee Education Complex in Los Angeles became the first high school in that city’s 640,000-student school district to open gender-neutral facilities. Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) students launched a school-wide information campaign regarding the need for gender-neutral facilities, convincing administrators to convert an existing 15-stall women’s restroom for use by all students. Jose Lara, faculty sponsor for the GSA, said, “It’s probably the safest place on campus for students because there are always adults around. Students are very accepting of the restroom.”

Coincidentally, designs for wholly new gender-neutral facilities bear much resemblance to those at Santee High School. Authorities on the politics of gendered bathroom design like Sanders and Stryker agree that multistall, gender-neutral facilities are the future of nongendered restroom design and even have the potential to be safer than traditional bathroom configurations. These configurations are already common in certain European countries, as well as many high-end establishments. Designs vary, but these restrooms typically feature a collection of individual, lockable water closets accessible from an atrium containing shared washbasins, allowing a steady and diverse flow of people to come into and out of restroom facilities. These designs, however, are exceptions in an otherwise gender-segregated architectural culture and will not become part of a wider societal change unless building codes change in toe with social mores.

According to advocates, these designs, if widely adopted as part of a new set of building codes and regulations, could herald a new era of gender equality in architecture.

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On the Ground in Las Vegas: The hottest trends from the 2016 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show

There was a lot of ground to cover at this years kitchen and bath show in Las Vegas. AN noticed a lot of consistent trends in terms of design themes and the newest must-have kitchen gadgets. Texturized There were a lot of three dimensional tiles and printed surfaces happening at many of the booths that really caught the editor's eye. For one, Walker Zanger had multiple wall tiles that resemble folded paper. Ann Sacks showed tiles that looked more like foam panels than stone. Additionally, Ann Sacks debuted a collaboration with designer Kelly Wearstler that showed grooved tiles that create a gorgeous rippling effect. Updated Appliances From Futuristic toilets to state-of-the-art steam ovens, this year there were a lot of innovations to everyday appliances. Gaggenau showed a beautiful combination steam and convection oven—equipped with the world's first fully automatic cleaning system, as well as built-in options that allow for a whole new method of in-home cooking. Thermador also debuted a 60 inch Pro Grand Steam Range that includes a steam and convection oven alongside a 36” convection oven. It's hard to believe that quite possibly the most exciting thing at KBIS was a hi-tech toilet, but with features like tornado dual-flush technology that only uses a gallon (or less) of water per flush, an automatic mist of electrolyzed water, and special glaze that utilizes nano technology, you hardly ever have to clean it. Plus TOTO's Neorest 550H has a motion sensor which means you never really have to touch it since it opens, closes, and flushes automatically. Sleek Installs Beautiful design that doesn't sacrifice function was a huge concern of designers at the show. Ronbow debuted their new signature series, consisting of eleven collections designed by nine top European designers. Every little detail was considered, including the addition of outlets and usb ports inside of drawers and cabinets as well as porcelain and marble drain stops that give a clean and minimal look to sinks. Fineline Move cutlery drawer Häfele also had some sleek new designs that will make you rethink drawer and pantry organization. The inclusion of Loox LED lights in tight spaces allows for clear countertops and more room for beautiful appliances. They also offer non-slip surfaces that are standard in all of their products and easily movable organizational containers.
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Product> Live Stream: High-Tech Bath Hardware

The newest bath plumbing products are not only designed to produce water, they also provide innovative features like chromatherapy, aromatherapy, and custom temperature and pressure adjustments. Shower Plus Zucchetti. Kos Dedicated to wellness and personal care, the Shower Plus collection includes a wide range of showerheads that are outfitted with colored lighting, three aromatherapy options, and a variety of water jets. The showerheads are available in round, square, and rectangular shapes. Croma Select 
E 110 3-Jet Handshower Hansgrohe This chrome-finished handshower features three spray modes—SoftRain, IntenseRain, and Massage—that can be selected by the push of a button. The Croma Select E 110 3-Jet Handshower features a 2.0 GPM flow, a 30-degree adjustment, and comes with a 63-inch Techniflex Hose and a Showerarm Mount with a handshower holder. P3 Comforts Duravit Duravit has partnered with Phoenix Design to create P3 Comforts, a collection of comfort-inspired bathroom products designed to be experienced by all five senses. The wide-ranging collection includes washbasins, rimless toilets, bidets, bath and whirl tubs, and shower trays. Elbow Spout Sonoma Forge Compatible with ramp-style and small sinks, Elbow Spout produces a straight-down stream of water. New to the WaterBridge faucet collection, the Elbow Spout resembles raw plumbing parts and comes in four finishes—Rustic Copper, Rustic Nickel, Satin Nickel, and Oil-Rubbed Bronze. The faucet is also available in various sizes, spout styles, and handle styles. W2 Wave Tub WETSTYLE W2 Wave Tub is part of WETSTYLE’s new W2 line that includes three freestanding soaking tubs and Element Furniture—an all-wood bathroom furniture collection. Inspired by a rolling wave, the tub can hold up to 68 gallons and is available in Apollo White, glossy and matte finish options. Flor Mini Lowinfo Part of the Kast family of concrete basins, Flor Mini is a downsized version of the standard Flor model. The basin features a concealed drain, and it’s available in six neutral colors, left- or right-handed basin options, and with or without brackets. Flor Mini is also designed for use with a wall-mounted tap, and it can be supplied with taps, traps, and wastes.
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2015 Best of Products Awards> Kitchens + Baths and Lighting

On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process. Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging. While the complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, AN will be publishing the results daily over the next week. Today’s categories, Kitchens + Baths and Lighting, evidenced a trend toward efficient use of space and energy. View all of the published categories here. KITCHENS + BATHS “This is a smart solution for small spaces.” —Barry Goralnick Winner Sottile 18-Inch-Deep Refrigerator Perlick Residential Standard undercounter refrigerators and beverage centers are 24 inches deep. Measuring just 18 inches deep and 32 inches tall, this undercounter appliance brings refrigerated storage to the slimmest of spaces. Featuring the proprietary front-vented RAPIDcool forced-air system, the fridge chills room-temperature liquids in just 30 minutes. Full-extension pullout shelves are adjustable in one-inch increments. Available with solid stainless steel door, a glass front, or fully-integrated overlay panel. NSF rated and ADA compliant. “Beautiful and simple.” —Colin Brice Honorable Mention P3 Comforts Duravit The P3 Comforts suite of bathroom fixtures uses a design language of simple geometry and subtle shifts in planes to create an aesthetically calming experience. The washbasin features a raised tap platform, separate from the wet area, making a generous shelf surface for bathroom essentials. The shower tray has an easy-clean outlet that is seamlessly integrated into the raised base, emphasizing its pristine lines. The tray was created with a new material, DuraSolid, which provides Class B slip-resistance without additional coating. Designed by Phoenix Design. “It’s hard to find good-looking appliances. This is beautiful and sized right.” —Colin Brice Honorable Mention 24-Inch Glass Door Refrigerator Bosch With doors finished in white glass, black glass, or glass on stainless steel, this counter-depth refrigerator brings a sleek look to the small kitchen or ancillary space. The appliance’s appearance in enhanced by its handle-less design and concealed hinges. The doors are reversible, allowing for next-to-wall placement and near-flush installation. The ten-cubic-foot capacity includes three freezer drawers, a wine rack, and a sealed crisper, all lit with LEDs. Energy Star qualified. “Gorgeous. Different.” —Barry Goralnick Honorable Mention VOLA Round Series Hand Shower Hastings Tile & Bath The Round Series hand shower takes the core elements of the VOLA design language—the circle and the cylinder—as the starting point to create an entirely new product. Subtle polymer details on the handle helps users keep a grip on the fitting. Available in polished chrome, brushed chrome, natural brass, brushed stainless, and a range of colors. Designed by Aarhus Arkitekterne. LIGHTING + ELECTRICAL “Terrific idea. Love the flexibility. Well designed.” —Barry Goralnick “Very smart and elegant.” —Colin Brice Winner Running Magnet 2.0 FLOS Architectural In this new track lighting system, a trimless, extruded aluminum housing is recessed into plasterboard ceilings or walls; it can even turn inside or outside corners. An electrical track is laid into the housing. Next, LED modules—either adjustable spots or flush-mount linear strips—are attached to the track via magnets, creating a tremendously responsive and versatile lighting platform. Fixtures are easily repositionable in the field, as needs change. Honorable Mention Antimicrobial Trim Leviton These stainless steel wallplates and switches are made with an antimicrobial additive to help keep surfaces cleaner in conjunction with regular housekeeping procedures. Silver ions inhibit cell division and prevent bacteria— including E-coli and MRSA—from reproducing. The collection is suitable for healthcare facilities, educational institutions, hospitality venues, commercial kitchens, and other public service areas where surface contamination is a concern. Honorable Mention LN Series Cree The wing-like design of this sleek luminaire allows a more uniform illumination of task surfaces and ceilings, while providing exceptional efficacy of up to 110 lumens per watt. The series is modular in nature, with four-foot light engines that can be easily combined for longer runs.
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Product> Hot Stuff for Kitchens & Baths

Assertive style and high performance are characteristic qualities in the latest crop of new products and collections for the kitchen and bath. Often drawing on designs of the past, they nonetheless present an advanced aesthetic. La Cornue W La Cornue The W line dramatically re-envisions cooking appliances. The collection includes a freestanding “oven tower”, an induction “table” with four burners, and a ventilation hood, as well as an armoire-type cabinet and work table of oiled oak. The components are contemporary, yet maintain certain hallmark details of La Cornue, such as the control knobs and the towel bar that runs the length of the cooktop. Designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte.   Urban Kitchen SieMatic With its mix of stylistic elements, the Urban design theme reflects the contrasts and vitality of city living. Central to the program is the SieMatic 29 sideboard; its mitered and rounded side panels and gently curved pedestal are a contemporary update of the traditional piece of furniture. It is complemented by a variety of freestanding cabinet units, featuring open shelving, cupboards, and drawers.   Cape Cod Bath Collection Duravit Part of the Cape Cod suite of bathroom furnishings and fixtures, this console vanity uses a simple palette of materials in an expressive way. The frame is rendered in cool, smooth chrome, while the cabinet boxes and horizontal surfaces are offered in a choice of high gloss white, as well as four wood finishes: American walnut, European oak, vintage oak, and white beech. The vintage oak model brings an extra touch of nature into the bathroom as its countertop features an irregular live edge, making each piece of furniture unique. Designed by Philippe Starck.   Black Steel Finish MGS Select products in the MGS MB Bath Collections are now available in Black Steel, a matte black finish for solid stainless steel fittings. Shown on the MB282 widespread three-hole faucet, Black Steel has a refined yet edgy appearance. Unlike a powder-coat or electroplated finish, Black Steel is produced using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), a process used in aerospace, military, and high-tech industries. Through PVD, the color actually penetrates the metal, resulting in a smooth, durable finish that is consistent throughout every component of the faucet design.   ILBAGNOALESSI One Laufen One element of a complete collection of fixtures and fittings, the ILBAGNOALESSI One water closet is available in both floor- and wall-mount models. WaterSense certified, the dual-flush fixture features LAUFEN Clean Coat, a glaze-in-glaze finish that ensures dirt and bacteria are easily rinsed away. Designed by Stefano Giovanni, in cooperation with Alessi and Laufen.   Henrybuilt Henrybuilt kitchens combine the integrated design and functionality of a “system” kitchen with the flexibility and personalization associated with custom-designed rooms. Spaces that are refined without being overtly precious, and that are technically sophisticated—without being cold or difficult to maintain—are the result of an individually focused design process.
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Product> Small Spaces and High Design in the Bath

Designing for a smaller spaces shouldn't translate to a reduction in quality finishes and fixtures. Following are a selection of bath fittings that serve as exceptional finds for tight rooms. Open Space Shower Duravit Vienna-based Eoos has collaborated on a folding shower that’s perfect for a bathroom with limited square footage. Available in clear or mirrored glass, the four walled unit folds into a chrome frame that conveniently hides all fittings, including shower and fixtures, when not in operation. The bottom can be outfitted with Duravit’s shower tray or set onto a tiled floor with a drain. Maris Wall-Hung Toilet TOTO Toto’s trim Maris wall-hung toilet offers space-saving solutions for powder rooms or small bathrooms. Besides adding nine inches of floor space, the hidden tank and dual flush system optimizes water efficiency without sacrificing performance. The bowl is protectively coated with Sanigloss, which makes cleaning a breeze. Roman and Williams District Tile-Crown Molding Waterworks Robin Standefer and Stephen  Alesch’s new R.W. Atlas fittings line of bath fixtures for Waterworks includes a tile collection as well as District Tile Trimmers, hand glazed ornamental tile details that come in a range of 16 shades, and in 14 sizes. The addition of crown molding to a tiled wall can add architectural interest while creating the illusion of a master bath, even in a tiny abode. Gentle Single Lever Dornbracht Italian designer Matteo Thun’s Gentle fixture collection now includes everything a proper bath requires: a towel rack, hook, tub handle, and soap dish. The single lever wall-mounted faucet in polished chrome takes up limited wall space and can be switched on with a flip of the wrist. Quadtwo Boffi American designer Jeffrey Bernett has created the perfect solution for a tight squeeze. Quadtwo, an all-in-one sink and cabinet combination, is made from MDF, lacquered in a matte finish, and offered in 15 colors. The surface is manufactured from Cristalplant with drawers that have the option to be specified on the left or right side. Kilo Sink Hastings Hasting’s new Whitestone collection of ceramic sinks comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, all recessed, inset, and wall-hung. Offered in 25 styles and cast from clay, the Kilo sink’s thin construction creates the illusion of lightness while the support is knockdown sturdy.