Toilets are the barometer of a building: They reveal the underlying approach and values of an architectural design; reflecting how people that use a building are considered, accommodated and treated.
Poorly designed toilets can alienate groups of people, undermine and intimidate, affect self-esteem and form physical and social barriers. Conversely well-designed toilets can: liberate, welcome, enable and enhance people’s lives.
Toilets are a microcosm of the challenges that we we face in society; as designers of places and spaces, how can we create places which are welcoming, supportive, accessible, practical and delightful?
In terms of architectural education and practice, toilets are often places that receive limited treatment in the design process. Yes, they need to be practical, but where is the opportunity for design exploration and expression? This website aims to show that the design of toilets is both fascinating and worthy of further exploration, but crucially that toilets provide a gateway to a much more holistic approach to making better places and spaces.
HOW TO USE THE TOILET DESIGN TOOLKIT
This resource has been developed so that it offers different levels of interaction:
1. More considered, specific, appropriate toilets - for those wishing to incorporate better toilets into their designs - there is access to templates to do this. However, don’t use these unless you have read the pros, cons and considerations! Different building types, stakeholders and briefs demand a specific toilet approach!
2. Understanding the wider toilet context - Toilets have a huge impact on people’s lives and are places where issues of gender, disability, faith and regulation collide. The design of toilets is a highly relevant and socially charged subject. See for yourself!
3. Toilets and access focus - Toilet design is an evolving academic, social and practical area of study, bringing together cross-disciplinary groups, forming a timely and topical range of discourses. There are a range of links for further study and areas of investigation for teaching opportunities in higher education.