We wrapped up our tribute to white last week and are moving on to color. We found some inspiration for that in bathrooms, of all places. We were wowed by a few projects that set blazing neon against black and white tile. The setting turns the color into bright flares that sear right into the eye.
Langham Place is one of the trendiest parts of Hong Kong. In 2014 Alexander Wong Architects built the “Gravity Restroom,” located inside Cinema City Langham Place, a theater owned by Pegasus Entertainment. Inspired by the films of director Wong Kar Wai, Archello states that the design is “an homage to Hong Kong’s bygone ‘New Wave Cinema’ with an unexpected sci fi twist.” The bathroom is lit by futuristic street lamps. The high gloss against the wall of sinks reflects the wave-like black and white tiles against the opposing wall. Walking out the door you step into the glow of neon, making you think, for a moment, that you’re living inside a William Gibson novel.
The Orang+Utan Veggie Bar was built by studio AKZ Architectura in Kiev, Ukraine. They approached the restaurant from the point of view that the city is a jungle, a unique natural habitat. The white tile with black grouting creates a “net” effect that plays up the urbanity of the place. The natural world encroaches, though it is mutated to varying degrees by its new environment. Green plants stand out brilliantly against the tile and they’re also partnered with neon pink fruit which commands attention.
The bathroom designed by Hidden Fortress for Berlin’s Bar Zentral doesn’t include much color but their use of black and white tiles are far more fascinating than the decorations at a typical bar bathroom (the sports page pinned up above the urinal). The eye is tempted to follow the patterns around and around and around, the strips combining to form shapes against other stripes set at different angles. Further in the bathroom, the tiles take on a more pixelated look, creating a sensation of a television set to static.
What do you think of these bathrooms’ use of contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.