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10 of The World’s Most Unique Restrooms: Understanding the New Toilet Culture

Published by Sher D Fly in Offbeat
October 23rd, 2007

Next to eating, drinking and sleeping, going to the restroom is something that we all do quite frequently. Most of the time, we tend to forget that the design of a restroom, especially public bathrooms, have an impact on the individual and on society as a whole. Come witness a worldwide initiative designed to educate society and to improve the designs and structures of public restrooms.

In shaping a good toilet culture among today’s society, there are initiatives underway to improve the design and structure of public restrooms.


    The Kohler art centre houses arts exhibits in Sheboygan, WI, USA. The Kohler fund sponsored six artists to design artwork using the facilities and sources from Kohler- a company that sells bathrooms and accessories. One of the restroom units entitled “The Social History of Architecture” features the development of architecture from ancient Egypt until the current time. One restroom unit features “The Many Uses of Water” using beautiful ceramics in blue colours.


    In 2002, both South Korea and Japan became the hosts for the football World Cup finals. A former Korean mayor came up with the idea of having soccer ball shaped restrooms around the football stadium as part of a campaign to develop clean and comfortable public restrooms in Korea during the big event.


    This is actually a “pop-up” urinal for use during the nighttime. The durable, cylindrical stainless steel urinal, which is called the Urilift will be lowered into the ground during the day or when it is not needed. Healthmatic, a Wiltshire, UK based company has been given rights to distribute the Urilift in the UK. The Urilift can be used by 3 persons simultaneously.


    This public toilet was built in front of London’s Tate Britain Gallery as an art exhibit by an Italian born artist. What is special about this restroom is that it is made up of semi-transparent glass. The “visitors” of the public toilet (who need to defy their own fear and embarrassment) can see through the one-way mirrored glass but passers-by can’t see the person inside the restroom.


    The “toilet bar” of Vienna is actually a public restroom situated in an underpass near the Austria National Opera. The restroom features several units of urinals shaped like thick lipsticked lips with teeth and a tongue. Patrons were charged 75 cents for each visit. Eventually, the urinals were removed after facing public and political pressures as they were said to be offensive and sexist objects.


    Quite recently in July 2007, a Southwestern Chinese city in Chongqing opened up a free of charge, four-story public restroom. There are more than 1,000 toilets in this 30,000 square foot restroom. It features an Egyptian-themed interior with soothing music playing in the background. Some of the urinals are uniquely shaped, including crocodile’s mouths and busts of women. The government officials in Chongqing are currently preparing to submit an application to list this facility as the world’s largest public restroom in the Guinness World Records.


    The gold store owner in Hong Kong was inspired by Lenin’s vision of building public restrooms made of gold. Everything in the restroom including the toilet, sink, tiles and doors are all made of solid gold.


    The Chamber Pot gallery is a public restroom located in Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA. What’s special about this restroom is that it acts as a showcase for art works by local artists. The paintings will hang for a year in the restroom and there is a log book in the office that highlights the artists and their art work as well as contact information.


    This spacious and airy restroom has won many awards locally and internationally for its cleanliness and practical design. A big section of the restrooms are located outdoors, resembling a beautiful garden.


    The Jungle Jim’s restroom is located in the Jungle Jim’s International Market in Ohio, USA. The Jungle Jim’s is actually a shopping initiative which provides all sorts of products from international cuisines to pet supplies. The entrance to the restroom is rather unique, as it looks like “port-o-lets” or “porta-potties” and may confuse new customers. The walls inside are decorated and the restroom units are spacious and clean.

Liked it
  1. Darlene McFarlane
    Posted October 23, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Very unusual and unique. You wouldn’t even know what some of them are.

    Great Job!

  2. Linh
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 6:31 am

    That was so funny hahahahahahahahahaha i imagine going into the semi-transparent glass toilet! so embarrasing! hahahaha

  3. Linh
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 6:32 am

    That was so funny hahahahahahahahahaha i imagine going into the semi-transparent glass toilet! so embarrasing! hahahaha

  4. Hemphor
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 11:21 am

    the semi-transparent one is from Texas not the UK! Atleast the pic is from one in texas, apparently Houston

  5. Bricknhymr
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Jungle Jim’s Bathroom is amazing. I think they ahve done some decorating inside since this picture. The whole store is very cool.

  6. T
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Are these from thebathroomdiaries.com? Should probably be cited, if so…

  7. Ernest Leitch
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    You missed the bathroom at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, CA. It has a water fall you pee into. It’s pretty cool.

  8. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    I love Jungle Jim’s. One of my favorite things to do is hang out in the beer section (right next to the restrooms) and watch people stare at the doors, afraid to go in. A few weeks ago I watched an uppity lady throw her hands in the air, curse a little and walk away in disgust. Never judge a book by its cover.

  9. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    You forgot the toilets in Kawakawa New Zealand:

  10. Rocco
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Bar 89. Soho NY. 89 Mercer st. Cool bathrooms. Lounge setting with community seating and adjacent wall as floor to ceiling glass doors. The doors lead into stall like single bathrooms. However, once inside and door is locked. The glas smokes and you have privacy. Wish I had a pic to post for yall but very similar to the semi transparent in UK above.

  11. del
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    nice spam Mikey

  12. Wouter
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 2:11 am

    The pop-up restroom is not in the UK, but in The Netherlands. The pictures are taken at the ‘Caterplein’ in Apeldoorn, NL (it’s my hometown…)

  13. cereal with choc-milk
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 3:10 am

    A very fun and mind-tingling article. A definite light humorous, good reading material

  14. Squids
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 9:37 am

    The Schiller Liquor Bar and Prem-on in downtown Manhattan both have cool bathrooms too. They both have communal sink areas with fun sinks. The Schiller has a big tub for a sink, and four faucets that hang from a big pipe structure in the ceiling. Prem-on has a long declining basin that collects the water from all four faucets. The faucets are hidden behind a series of medicine cabinet-sized mirrors. Two strange looking metal fins stick out of the bottom of each mirror, and when you push them together the water falls in a wide sheet from the mirror into the declining basin.

    I recommend releaving yourself in either of the restaurants. And eating in them too, they’re tasty.

  15. Anne Lyken-Garner
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve been inside one of the pop up ones in Norwich (U.K), but didn’t use it, just wanted to see what it was like. They’re on a stretch of road which has got a lot of pubs and clubs, so I’m sure they’re very handy at nights.

  16. The Real Sher D Fly
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you all for your feedback and comments on my articles. Really appreciate it. I have no idea there are so many spams in here lately.

  17. JavaneseLontong
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Some are kinky, some classy, some hillarious, some just…what the ???

  18. Judy Sheldon
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Very uniquely interesting.

  19. Nappy-headed Ho'
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Check out the photo book “Toilets of the World.” It’s similar in spirit to “Material World,” which surveys how people in different places live by showing the inventories of all their stuff — their worldly possessions. “Toilets of the World” surveys where they do their business.

  20. viv
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    I especially like the TARDISy bathroom at Jungle Jim’s
    - You walk into what looks like a portapotty and into
    a nice large bathroom. Granted it’s just a door into
    a bigger room, but too cool for words that!

  21. Nelson Doyle
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 1:12 am

    This is a great article and I really like #3 the Pop-up restrooms. That is very clever and a real space saver. Really nice article – I enjoyed it a lot.

  22. The Non-Returner
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    I’ve been in the Jungle Jim’s bathroom. They have done some decorating!

  23. Faisal
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 10:33 am

    hmm.. damm good collection.. I feel.. if I was there….

  24. urgetogo
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Cant wait to give it a go at theses wonderful loos. toilet bar in austria looks darn funny

  25. LOL
    Posted November 9, 2007 at 5:20 pm


  26. Coconut-rice for breakfast
    Posted November 16, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Oh feel, have to go…

  27. cgedas
    Posted November 19, 2007 at 11:21 am

    However, toilets aren’t only about fun…


  28. jambanmania
    Posted February 17, 2008 at 4:32 am

    funny,bewildered, speechless

  29. Ruby Hawk
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    I can’t imagine a restroom 4 stories high. How many people do they have going to a restroom at one time!

  30. nobert soloria bermosa
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    this is a great articles….amazingly wonderful….

    good job Sher,

  31. Rookie Expert
    Posted May 28, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    That was an amazing read. Great job with the pictures. Would love to visit most of these, esp the 3D goldstore one in China, solid gold, WOW!! Not too sure about the semi-transparent one though.

  32. TT
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Those port o lets are a great touch… great job

  33. Posted November 3, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    tell you who whs got a good range of toilets for the home http://www.cascadabathrooms.co.uk/Bathroom-Suites/Toilets.html

  34. ahh
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    ha! i would hate to be the one cleaning the four-story bathrooms!

  35. Posted October 22, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Check out these cool bathrooms decorated with natural plants. They also are quite awesome.

  36. aasha
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

    not too good but i like china bath room

  37. Posted July 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Interesting article. Here are some unique sinks http://www.best5everything.com/best5ListPages/creative-sinks-84932.php

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