Toilets are a necessary part of life, from the modest hole-in-the-ground camping situation to a lavish toilet-plus-bidet combination. Different countries and cultures have their own unique twang, whether it’s a change of direction in the flush to adopting a strange but seemingly adequate squatting posture. History has seen many great inventions concerning the plumbing Strathmore and function of various lavatory designs, and today we can choose colours, flush options, materials and shapes to match our own unique styles. The following are a cluster of latrines that have stood out over the years.
The Ice Bathroom at The Ice Gallery in Seoul, South Korea, is entirely made (as you can already guess) of ice. The plumbing of this particular contraption is just as mystifying as the ability to stay seated on it without serious frostbite. At the Swisshorn Gold Palace in Hong Kong, there is a solid gold throne for patrons to enjoy. The Sega Toylet in Tokyo’s metro stations have turned the necessary act of relieving oneself into a video game of sorts – their urinals have sensors that detect the force and location of your stream. You can choose which of the four games you would like to play, each game using the sensors as controls. Such games include fire-hosing graffiti off a wall and controlling the force of the wind that blows up a cute anime girl’s skirt. There’s even a game that remembers the last player’s performance and challenges you to beat it, visualised as two characters battling by squirting milk through their nose.
In London, there is a public bathroom that has walls made of one-way mirrors, so that you can see out while you go. It began as an exhibition called Don’t Miss a Beat, curated by artist Monica Bonvicini. What was interesting was that many people who attempted to use it were struck with ‘stage fright’ and had to exit without relief – the sight of other people was enough to put them off, regardless of the fact that they couldn’t see in. Egg-shaped commodes can be found in sketch, a popular bar and restaurant also in London. Each pod glows pink inside and are in the shape of very tall, oval eggs, which play soft and eerie sounds all the while. These bathrooms are more than just a feat of plumbing, but rather incorporate features of design, art and entertainment to provide one-of-a-kind experience.
The list goes on. The Time Capsule/Pop Up toilet, that rises from the ground as if from nowhere. The underwater toilet where ocean life roams around you. The $13,000 dollar toilet encrusted with sparkling jewels in Japan. Private, home-friendly toilets that use infra-red sensors to detect when you’ve left the room before it quietly shuts its lid, or with built-in bidet features, or heated seats and deodorising filters. Reviewing the list, it’s safe to say that plumbing and great services have come a long way from the chamber pot.