Bathroom Blogfest 2010 #3: Stuck in the doorway?

Thanks to Bathroom Blogfest 2010, I have an opportunity to share a series of photos that Beth took when we visited Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles last year. It took her so many twists and turns to get from the entrance of an upper-floor women’s restroom to the actual stalls that she was inspired (if that is the right word) to document the experience. Apologies for the blurry quality and varying exposure – these were taken quickly, during a break in the concert.

The entrance…








… leads into a sort of foyer, which leads, through a narrow door, into …






… a dark, narrow hallway, which leads to …








… a 180 degree turn into …








… a mirrored area with a counter, presumably for repairing makeup, checking appearance, etc. If you want an actual toilet, you have to proceed through a narrow passage on the right …





… which leads you, finally, as if in an overly long dream, to …







… the actual bathroom stalls. Note that the so-called handicapped stall is located farthest from the hallway.






There are several striking things about this restroom experience: the narrow doors, the inadequate lighting in some areas, the number of twists and turns — all hell for someone with mobility or balance problems, let alone in a wheelchair or using another assistive device — plus the time and distance from the entrance to the stalls. What’s even more striking is that this building was (famously, by Frank Gehry) designed and built in the first decade of the 21st century. It’s obviously an afterthought, crammed into available non-revenue-generating space. No one was thinking of restrooms as an integral part of the visitor experience at Disney Hall.

Stuck in the 60’s? Not exactly – but for someone using this particular women’s restroom, it would be all to easy to become stuck in a doorway.




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2 Responses to “Bathroom Blogfest 2010 #3: Stuck in the doorway?”

  1. C.B. Whittemore Says:

    Steve, what a trek! I love that Beth documented her experience. Do you find that bathrooms are often afterthoughts in museum and performance spaces of a certain era?

    Thanks again for being part of Bathroom Blogfest 2010!


  2. stevetokar Says:

    CB, Yes, and that era would be now. Disney Hall opened to great fanfare about five years ago. From the outside it’s visually stunning, but inside it’s wildly inconsistent in terms of comfort and ergonomic design.

    For an excellent museum restroom experience, go to the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC. Spacious, well-designed. The NMCA has other comfort issues, which I’ve written about in this blog, but good bathrooms.

    A pleasure participating in BB ’10!

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