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Swiss please

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Given the appalling state of most public lavatories, plumbing and drainage specialist Geberit is to be applauded for commissioning some young architects in its native Switzerland to come up with a vision for the washroom of the future. The company has put its money where its mouth is, actually building the project in the basement of its headquarters building on the shores of Lake Zurich. So when a party of British press visited the offices, it was natural that this should form part of the tour. After a lengthy build-up, the journalists were led through to a space filled with coloured floor tiles, soft lighting and sweet smells.

The spacious cubicles had roller shutters in place of doors, operated automatically by infra-red sensors. How unfortunate that one of the party should become shut inside, and that it took 10 minutes to rescue him. Red faces all round.

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