There is a spacious and attractive indoor mall in Chicagoland suffering from a pandemic problem that challenges interior designers regularly.
How should restrooms be incorporated into shared spaces?
This question ends up being answered directly or indirectly by designers of malls, theaters, restaurants, shops, etc.
No matter what primary products or services are provided in the space, if even small numbers of people are expected to spend time in the space, there need to be bathrooms. The bathroom design can either be thought-out and intentionally aligned with this critical need of the people; or the bathrooms can be an afterthought, an inharmonious side note.
Why is this well-known, critical user need being ignored? Designers? Where else in good design can you find well known and understood needs that are routinely ignored?
The bathrooms in this mall are down a long dingy hallway, about five hundred feet away from the dining tables. To access the bathrooms, one must pass under the hanging blue square sign in the picture above and down this ugly hallway into the utility portion of the building.
I wonder what percentage of the people who visit the mall any given day end up using one of the bathrooms? Why the huge shift from beautiful design to ugly design?
Everyone has to go to the bathroom sometimes. Why are we ashamed of them, hiding them away down a back hallway?