Toilets are designed with the needs of the users in mind, but design flaws and limited budgets can make them unpleasant for users.
blank soap bottles, spreading bacteria dryers, views directly from the outside in.
The use of public restrooms is unlikely to be enjoyed by anyone, but the experience becomes particularly unpleasant if the design of the restroom leaves much to be desired. In addition to general cleanliness, privacy is essential for the user: Does anyone see inside the booth and is the space safe at all?
Question sufficient privacy arises, for example, in the toilets on the first floor of the Big Apple, where a finger-wide gap is left between the wall of the booth and the door.
Shopping Center Manager From Mika Mustas answers questions about toilet design via email. He does not comment on the width of the cracks, but mentions that the mall has not received any feedback from customers.
Citycon, the real estate investment company that owns Iso Omena, does not have a specific toilet model that would be used in all properties, but the toilets vary according to the year of construction and the premises. Different toilets can also be found inside Iso Omena, as the parts of the shopping center have been completed at different times.
On purpose uncomfortable toilets are not planned for users, says Professor, Director of the Department of Architecture, Aalto University Pirjo Sanaksenaho.
“Yes, the designer really wants to think about the user experience,” Sanaksenaho says.
Toilets are usually designed by architects, but furniture, for example, is often chosen by HVAC designers.
Often, however, the budget dictates what kind of toilets will eventually be built on the site. Building individual toilets with thick walls and doors is more expensive than booth structures.
The design must also take into account the available space, the expected number of users and accessibility requirements.
effect is also a culture. For example, the Japanese are famous for their bowls with music and various washing gadgets, and travelers share their experiences of special solutions to the Finnish taste they see in the world.
In Finland, attention is usually paid to the quality of water furniture, Sanaksenaho says. Culture is still changing here too.
In recent years, the debate over gender-neutral toilets has made headlines at regular intervals. Toilets that are comfortable for all sexes to use are desirable in public spaces.
Gender-neutral toilets are the trend of the future, Sanaksenaho believes. Such is the built-in central library, for example Oodiin. However, gender neutrality alone will not solve all problems. For example, many women find shared toilets unsafe. In schools, toilets, on the other hand, are often places of bullying.
Separate locked rooms would be the safest, although also the most space and money consuming solution. At the same time, however, part of the toilet culture, especially for women, would also disappear, where the toilet may be an important space for going through the events of the evening, for example in a nightclub.
“Maybe it would be good to have them available as well,” Sanaksenaho ponders.
pitfalls therefore, it is enough, but also successes can be seen. For example, Sanaksenaho remembers that there were mirrors in the women’s toilet of the Academic Bookstore in the past, which was used to conveniently check the status of the hairstyle.
At its best, the toilet is designed to serve its users better than expected, whether it meant extra mirrors and levels for make-up artists, the possibility to grease your hands after washing, or even just beautiful views.
Have you seen public restrooms in the metropolitan area whose privacy could be improved, or has somewhere succeeded particularly well? We collect user experiences for the story. You can report your findings by e-mail to [email protected]