Cool lights, wall-to-wall tiles and trivial fixtures. Little by little, public bathrooms have changed this aesthetic and opted for more careful designs. Gone are the days when designs were focused only on functionality, accessibility and ease of maintenance and cleaning. Along with these essential qualities, a good bathroom project can also bring tranquility and show values that the space or the company wants to convey to its users. whether through finishes, lightning, or less material factors such as inclusivity, making users feel good is ultimately the goal of all environments, including bathrooms.
Although the main activity carried out in bathrooms is unlikely to change significantly, this environment also fulfills other functions. The Splash Lab, a manufacturer of fixtures and sinks for public restrooms, conducted a survey that showed that 74% of British workers purposely visit the restroom to obtain solitude during the working day and 60% of diabetics in the UK are still afraid to inject in a public restroom due to the lack of clean facilities. The brand seeks to reinterpret rituals around bathroom hygiene and interface, challenging conventional bathroom standards through product innovation to create thoughtful solutions for public spaces. This is done through superior raw materials, state-of-the-art automation and modular bathroom systems to powerfully and positively influence the lives of people and the planet. As much as this may seem like a superficial topic purely focused on aesthetics, the issues surrounding bathrooms are serious, and a good design with conscious choices of products and materials can make a difference.
In the case of a hand washing station, for example, there are many products (and several manufacturers) to consider. The sink, the lower compartments, the mirror, the faucet, the soap dispenser, the hand dryer, among others; each one carries its own design and specificities. The Splash Lab idea is to create simplicity out of complexity, bringing the concept of modular systems. In other words, it offers flexible systems, delivering all the necessary products, according to the demands of each place, but with languages consistent with each other. Below, we gather examples of sanitary product applications in offices, retail, transportation hubs, conventions and hospitality, bringing a brief architectural analysis of the different types of bathrooms and the products used in each one.
In office bathrooms, the flow of users in the bathroom is generally lower, which allows for greater boldness in the project, as well as the application of some more aspirational materials. In the Grand + Nash project, in El Segundo, California, the bathroom, without natural light, seeks to bring warmth through the wood, in contrast to the black hexagonal tiles that line the walls. In the section of the washbasins, the gray monolithic sink (Monolith Series A) is combined with the faucets and soap dispensers in matte black from the Ribbon line, which evoke the same Scandinavian and Japanese inspirations present in the project at large.
In another corporate bathroom, which is intended for private use - by Foothill Transit - a narrow built-in sink, fabricated in natural beige Corian®, stands out. Due to the reduced space in the bathroom to fit the washbasin and toilet, the brushed stainless steel faucet and soap dispenser are located on each side of the sink, making it narrower. The subtle and clean finishes of the sinks and accessories allow the colored elements in the washing area to stand out and create the impression of a welcoming and positive space. The pipeskirt, which also meets ADA compliance, can be adapted to coordinate with different design aesthetics and/or fixture finishes, in 3 options provided by the company.
In the case of bathrooms in commercial spaces, the high flow of use requires an increase in the number of washbasins, as well as special attention to factors such as ergonomics, internal movements and usability. At the Irvine Spectrum Center, a range of TSL products was specified by Drake Design architects, adding to the sophistication of the materials in the striking Spanish influences of the colors on the walls: the Ribbon Collection accessories, the Monolith Basin System and a combined paper towel unit / bin. This is an example of how good design can improve not only the feeling of the environment, but also its functionality and maintenance. As noted by the brand, “The layout of the sinks and accessories encourages more environmentally responsible use of the hand dryer, but still includes the convenience of a hand towel option via the wall-mounted combo unit. With the waste chutes in the basin, an additional, unobtrusive waste bin is easily located, maximizing area cleanliness and reducing the need for routine maintenance.”
For a busy Dallas airport restroom, the modular solid surface sink design allows for an integrated gutter with dual-height basins for accessibility compliance. At each of the stations, the faucet, soap dispenser and hand dryer come directly from the vertical part of the sink, all in the same brushed stainless steel design, making cleaning easy. In this case, an individual reservoir system for all parts facilitates operation and eliminates the need for guests to jump to multiple stations in search of a working soap dispenser.
The World Market Center in Las Vegas, is a convention center for events focused on design. So, possibly, this is one of the most judged bathrooms in the world. Fentress Architects developed a project in which the sobriety of textures and the beauty of materials stand out. Wall mounted accessories are specified for cleaning and maintenance. Stainless steel is used both in accessories such as the sink skirt, and toilet doors.
In the design of the Le Meridien hotel lobby bathrooms, developed by Linda Snyder Associates / Ao Architects, the metals used in the sink match the glossy finish of the tiles. The sinks are white monoliths and the equipment is all supported on it, mounted in a popular configuration that includes a single dryer placed between two wash stations in the same sink. The carefully considered height gradient between accessories creates a pleasing composition and an intuitive hand washing flow direction.
Learn more about The Splash Lab company, other case studies in bathrooms and all their products in our catalogue.