Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Armadiloo"

Lucinda Lambton at the FT on the happy renaissance in lavatorial sanitation:
In 2002, an SOS went out from St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, appealing for help with the problem of urinating men eroding the 18th century stone body of the church – and so the Butterfly Urinal was born. This sleek and shiny stainless steel structure – with curved “wings” that open at night to conceal the user – adds a shaft of sheer elegance to the street. It is one of the many exhilarating new lavatorial designs, both public and private, that are to be found throughout the country. Cambridge’s new public conveniences – beneath a long armadillo-like copper dome – are another, while in Stratford East, workers who maintain London’s underground trains can seek relief in stainless steel urinal “pods”. At Woburn Sands, on the border of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, the new public convenience has all the appearance of an Etruscan tomb of green marble, while in a glitzy club in central London you discover a dozen 7ft-high white fibre-glass eggs – blue-lit within for Gents and pink-lit for Ladies – each containing a WC.
Rather magical, eh?!? I am strongly tempted to get hold of a copy of her book Temples of Convenience and Chambers of Delight--or perhaps what will be more alluring is the volume titled Lucinda Lambton's Magnificent Menagerie: Or, Queer Pets and Their Goings-On....

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