A new wave of designers is bringing new ideas and new values to washrooms in public and office buildings.
Taner’s Sons Design Studio refurbished the ready-to-retire toilets in Capital One’s Nottingham HQ. The designers drew cues from nature, creating a calming and refreshing ambience with raw earth finishes.
Sweeping, soft curves, biophilic features and natural earth tones work together to offer associates a momentary escape from the office environment, to a calm, soft and quiet space.
Taner’s specified custom earthy, raspberry tones, instantly evocative of the natural world, and delicately subdued. The opposite of synthetic, brash colours. As a result, they are extremely calming and grounding.
Sharing their hues with many expensive materials, such as leather & mahogany, reddish earth colours are often associated with the finer things in life. When used in interior schemes, they give the viewer the impression of comforting, cocooning luxury.
Natural, pure and breathable, clay plasters not only contain no formaldehydes, VOCs, toxins or synthetics, they actively work to help improve indoor air quality.
Clay plasters regulate indoor air humidity at a critical level of between 40-60%, the level at which viruses, bacteria, dust mites and moulds are least likely to survive. It is also the level at which chemical reactions and ozone production are least likely to happen resulting in fewer chemicals of concern, including formaledehydes, surviving in a room. This can be important for bathrooms where there are usually many cleaning products used and limited ventilation. The Capital One bathrooms are placed centrally across three floors, with no windows, where natural materials can help with indoor air quality challenges. Clay plasters should not be used where it is likely to come into contact with water, regular splashing or where chemical cleaners are likely to be used. Behind toilets and sinks we recommend another surface material. If mopping is likely to occur then we suggest using clay, for all of its performance benefits, above around 1m.
For further pictures of the refurbished toilets at Capital One’s Nottingham HQ please see our case study feature.
Clay plasters reduce the need for mechanical intervention to help maintain indoor air humidity and were part of a package of materials and design features specified to reduce operational energy consumption by 70%.
WCs at The Old Vic Theatre London
Bennets Associates addressed the much-maligned WCs at The Old Vic Theatre as part of a comprehensive refurbishment in 2019. Working with Interior Designer Rebecca Richwhite, the new WCs supported the revitalised front of house experience to create an all-day destination at the central London Theatre.
Richwhite collaborated with Clayworks to create a deep, ‘Old Vic Red’ colour in a coarse texture. The fiery finish is full of character and material expression, an unusual and striking choice for public washrooms, which have historically tended to be very sanitised.