I don’t know about you but I tend to avoid going in public toilets unless I’m in desperate need of a visit to the loo. They’re never the nicest place to wander into when you’re out and about, and while you could make the argument that a bathroom used by thousands of people regularly is never going to be as pleasant as strolling through a field of fresh flowers, you at least want to be able to do your business without having to avoid touching anything (try going to the toilet at 1am in a nightclub and you’ll instantly feel like you need a thousand showers afterwards). Even if cleaned regularly the décor tends to be bland, and the experience is nothing like our own relatively comfortable bathrooms at home.
Thankfully not everyone thinks along the same lines. We’ve scoured the Internet and found * examples of public toilets that do it right; that you actually want to use, are designed in an innovative way and don’t look like that scene in Trainspotting.
1. The Golden Bathroom
The Chinese seem to be developing a knack for trying to out-do the rest of the world at pretty much anything – from planning to build the world’s largest skyscraper and putting on a spectacular Olympics opening ceremony (although London had a fair shot at outdoing it) – and the golden bathroom in Hong Kong is no exception. It’s worth just short of £19 million, with the toilet alone coming out at a cool £3 million! I’m also cheating a bit here as it’s technically not a public toilet; however it is available to view in the Hang Fung Gold Technology Group’s showroom. You just need to slip on shoe coverings so you don’t scratch the exquisite golden floor.
2. The Waterfall Urinal
Standing at a urinal in a public bathroom usually hits you with some unpleasant sights and a strong smell of stale wee – lovely! This isn’t the case at Madonna Inn (we hope so anyway) as the urinal is more than your average sight of yellow stained porcelain. Walking up to the urinal will activate a waterfall that cascades down the urinal towards you. According to urinal.net, it’s become a tourist attraction in San Luis Obispo, California, alongside another equally cool urinal. I suppose it’s a lot better than those urinals that scare the hell out of you when the flush suddenly activates.
Image by Jeremy Reding on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons licence.
3. The Bathroom that Cleans Itself
Bathroom cleaners of the world beware, a challenger has appeared! The Sanisette can actually be found in several major cities around the world, but they originally appeared in Paris from a French company called JCDecaux. The user enters the toilet, does their thing, and then leaves. That sounds like a pretty average bathroom, right? For the most part it is; that is until you realise that as soon as the door closes the small bathroom sets to work on cleaning itself. The wash cycle begins, scrubbing and disinfecting the toilet fixture itself automatically, and after 60 seconds its squeaky clean!
4. The Egg-shaped Toilet
This is without a doubt the coolest public toilet on this list, although you wouldn’t really expect anything less from a bathroom in a London restaurant called Sketch. Back in 2005 Sketch was ranked the 18th best restaurant in the world, and we’re betting that the bathroom played its part in the great ranking. The bathrooms contain a series of eggs dotted around, each containing their own individual toilets (and not a face hugger from Alien). As a result, you can enjoy a secluded and enclosed relaxed trip to the loo, safe in the knowledge that everyone else in sitting in their own little egg and not directly in the cubicle next to you.
5. The World’s Largest Bathroom
Japan has the claim for the world’s largest public bathroom, although it’s probably not the same as what you’re picturing. Instead of being a normal public bathroom with far too much floor space the bathroom contains only a single toilet. This toilet sits inside a glass box, where modesty can be protected by drawing a curtain around the inside of the box. But you don’t need to do that, as a giant fence around the bathroom stops any prying eyes and only one person (only women for now) is allowed in at a time. Within this fence is a 200 square metre open air garden dotted with potted flowers, with the designers hoping for it to turn into a “wild grassland area with trees lining the fence” in the future. It’s the closest you’ll get to being one with nature without having to go into the middle of a forest and do your business there!
6. The Ski Jump Toilet
What better way is there to experience the thrill a ski jumper feels before they begin their descent than to do it whilst sitting on the toilet? Designed by Coca Cola to promote a coffee drink the ski jump toilet has a wrap-around photograph of the top of a ski jump plastered to the walls. To increase the effect, you can strap on a pair of skis as you sit down, just remember to detach yourself as you try to walk away or you’re in for quite a tumble!
Surprisingly we found many more on our Internet travels, but we don’t want this post to become as long as a toilet bible. If you’ve come across any more unique public toilets on your travels let us know via our Facebook or Twitter pages as we’d love to feature them in a future blog post!
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