Since its opening in 1995, the Irvine Spectrum Center has been a shopping mall and a community gathering point. Inspired by Spain’s Alhambra, a 1st-century Moorish style city composed of interconnected palaces, the site boasts a unique architectural composition, that stands out even among Orange County’s Mediterranean-inspired views. Shoppers funnel into the restroom and family areas that are interspersed throughout the village-like layout from multiple locations through doors with distinctive etched glass emblems.
The Irvine Company wanted more than a flashy solution for their flagship property - they were looking for a statement. Reducing litter and water on the floor was part of their specifications to reduce the workload on their maintenance team. Given its local stature, the Spectrum Center needed to stay at the cutting edge of fixture developments in order to offer their shoppers a practical and premium experience. The challenge was for the restrooms was to work within the existing framework of the shopping center, but improve the functionality of these high-traffic spaces.
A range of products from The Splash Lab was specified by architects Drake Design to achieve everything set out in the brief: the Ribbon Collection fixtures, the Monolith Basin System, and a recessed paper towel/waste bin combination unit.
The Ribbon Collection won a 2014 Good Design Award, the units were specified in a satin finish and paired with Monolith Basins selected with custom stainless steel pipe skirts. Used in tandem, these two collections make full use of the power and freedom afforded by the customizable, modular systems from The Splash Lab. Thanks to the flexibility of the system, a single sink type was able to conform to the multiple restroom layouts found around the complex, appearing as either a long bank or in a wraparound configuration. The custom-fit stainless steel pipe skirts had a sleek, angular design that simultaneously complements the aesthetics of the above-deck components and gives maintenance employees easy access to waste and soap systems.
The layout of sinks and fittings encourages hand dryer use which is the more sustainable option however, hand towels are still conveniently offered as an option via the wall-mounted combination unit. With the in-basin waste chutes, an additional, discreet trash receptacle is easily located, maximizing cleanliness in the area and cutting down on the need for routine maintenance.
The finished restrooms offer a discreet oasis compared to the bustle of the outdoor mall, while still bringing in some of the complex’s Andalusian influences, seen in each washroom’s warm accent color. The overall effect is one of ease, comfort, and utility.
The Monolith Basin and the Ribbon Collection
The Splash Lab designs and produces commercial washroom products and modular bathroom systems. Two of their collections, Monolith and Ribbon work well in combination for commercial and public restroom designs and ADA compliant washrooms.