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Royal Ontario Museum

On the ground floor of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the re-imagined Currelly Hall washrooms bring new life and innovative design to a highly pragmatic program. Renovated in time for the ROM’s centennial, the washrooms — one of the most prominent and heavily used facilities in the museum — are designed to be both visually unique and expressive of the museum’s identity among the world’s leading institutes of natural and cultural history.

To achieve the museum’s objectives of an elegant, bullet-proof and low-maintenance design, it was designed as a unique, single, sinuous, element that combines the function of a counter with a barrier free compliant trough-style sink at two heights — one for children, and the other for adults and those in mobility devices — complete with an integral baby changing table and diaper disposal.

Complemented by combination water faucet-hand dryers, the all-in-one Corian® element allows visitors to both wash and dry their hands at the same location; shortening the overall time spent in the washroom by reducing cross-over traffic, which in turn ensures a cleaner and drier floor, lowers operating costs and eliminates paper towel waste.

The design was inspired by the ROM and its natural and cultural history collections. In particular, the extensive anthology of fossils that takes on abstracted and curvilinear forms. Symbolic of intellectual purity and completeness, curves and circles became a defining motif throughout the design.

Putting a contemporary spin on the building’s durable, deep-brown terrazzo flooring, we created a terrazzo finish unique to the space, whose aggregate gestures to the ROM’s minerals, while its blue-grey base reflects the sparkle of the entry vestibule’s glass mosaic walls’ iridescent fossil-like finish. Bronze arcs and circles in the floor, as well as disc-shaped dimmable ceiling lights reinforce the space’s curvilinear theme. These nuanced features round out all points of the visitor experience and progress the washroom facilities forward into the ROM’s next century.

Project Details

Design By: Superkul
Photography: Tom Arban
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