For many, the restroom is a place of solitude and recuperation.  If you’re at home, you can spend long periods of time in them catching up on your reading, and out in public, it’s where you go for a brief respite from the crowds outside.  There is nothing like a nice trip to the bathroom.  Okay, so maybe that’s just the way guys view it.  We’d probably feel different if we had to wait in insanely long lines and weren’t able to do our business standing up.  But the fact remains that we all spend a lot of time there.  Why not make it interesting?

Mural of Women Restroom

A Sofitel hotel in Queensland, New Zealand decided one day that they were sick and tired of men acting so serious while visiting the restroom.  For those of you male readers, you know how it is:  you walk in approach a urinal (keeping in mind the rules of proper urinal occupation), do your business, and leave.  No looking around, no talking, no smiling, and a one urinal space is required (unless of course you are at a sporting event or there are partitions).  But with this bathroom located on the second floor of the hotel, it would be awfully hard to stick to said rules.

Designers Cam Marsh and Mark Perriam of a company named Perron were hired to liven up the facilities, and liven them up they did.  Above the six urinals is a wall to wall mural with photographs of six local models, each situated directly above each urinal with a full view of the action.  Each girl is situated in a unique pose: one has a tape measure, another a look of surprise, and a third with a camera.  The odds of getting through a visit without smiling or laughing are pretty slim, especially when you see the poor man that got stuck under the girl that needs binoculars to see what’s going on down there.

On Target Urinal

You don’t really think about it, but when you own a large business of any kind, a large part of your income is invested in cleaning supplies for your restrooms.  Having to clean multiple restrooms each day has to tear through your supply of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner awfully fast.  But what if there was a way to minimize cleaning costs WHILE improving restroom hygiene, all while making using the facilities fun?  Impossible you say, and yet that’s exactly what Marcel Neundorfer did.

More specifically, he created a urinal that contains a pressure sensitive display screen.  When someone uses the urinal, the screen activates, and the visitor is treated to a video game completely controlled by *AHEM*, you know.  Each urinal has a unique game, and each game is designed so that the user urinates in a way that maximizes hygiene and minimizes “splashback,” saving on cleaning costs.

Fish ‘n Flush

Fish tank platform shoes and aquarium water beds eat your heart out and move the hell over.  You both have gone out of style, but we have found something that is timeless.  Introducing Fish ‘n Flush, the fish tank personal toilet!  Don’t worry, the fish aren’t actually swimming in your toilet water – although to be honest it’s probably cleaner that water in a fish tank.  The aquarium, which replaces the tank on the back of your personal toilet, consists of two compartments, separated by a translucent sheet of plastic.  The inner container functions just as a normal toilet would, while the outer container that wraps around it is where you place your fish, and for all intents and purposes is exactly like a normal aquarium.

The Fish ‘n Flush spokespeople say that their product is a great conversation piece. To be sure; we imagine most of those conversations go something like, “Hey I’m just gonna use the bathroom really – GOOD LORD WHAT IS THAT?!”

One Way Glass Toilet

You may have seen this baby floating around in email form, and if so you may be sad to find out that the toilet is not located in Houston, Texas as the text claims.  It is, however, very real and very functional.  This facility fashioned out of one way glass (similar to the kind found in interrogation rooms) is actually a piece of conceptual art created by Monica Bonvicini. First displayed outside the Tate Britain Museum in London, it has since been moved to the Messeplatz in Basel, Switzerland, where these pictures were taken.  The work, entitled “Don’t Miss a Sec,” was created after Bonvicini noticed that whenever you go to big art events, you want to see and experience every single little thing.  With this restroom you can do your business and not have to sacrifice missing anything.  You can also moon masses of people in public with no repercussions, but that’s not as inspired.

Pop-Up Urinals

A unique type of public restroom has been popping up (literally) around the United Kingdom, and the only question on our minds is when they’re going to show up in the States.  The Urilift, created by Healthmatic, is a cylindrical stainless steel urinal facility that literally pops up out of the ground for use at night.  When approached at night, pressure sensors in the ground around the urinals activate the Urilift, much like automatic doors at supermarkets and the like.  During the day however, the urinal cannot be used (for public flashing reasons we suppose).  The urinal can be used by up to three people simultaneously.  We think this is pretty awesome, but have one question.  Why is there no sink?

Ski Jump Toilet

There’s a time-tested universal truth floating out there, and it’s as applicable now as ever:  you want out-of-the-box, you go to Japan.  Restrooms like this have been set up in various ski resorts across the country as part of a marketing campaign for Georgia Coffee Max, a canned coffee company.

The restroom’s walls depict beautiful mountain scenery, and skis pasted onto the floor under the toilet (which is awesomely hi-tech) give the appearance of being on the top of a ski jump.  It looks so realistic, we wouldn’t be surprised if they intentionally made it freezing cold in there just to preserve the effect.