The attention to detail given by Ann and Norman Roberts in their crit of our public toilets (aj 10.9.98) is to be applauded. We had no idea anyone would want to spend so much time there!
The city council's survey showed that, despite this pc era, it is still women who carry the greatest burden of pushchairs and shopping trolleys. Given that someone had to go upstairs if we were to make use of the upper floor, it was therefore a request of the brief that men should be given the opportunity to enjoy the new elevated views over the cathedral green. We did, however, include a 'parent and baby' room on the ground floor in an attempt to restore equality.
The final allocation of space in the toilet areas was a direct result of existing internal dimensions and the emphasis we put on circulation, which now gives a light and secure passage to the upper floor rather than the dark labyrinth of old. It was of great reassurance to the members that parents could now watch their young all the way into the toilets (perhaps even with a little 'loitering' on the bridge en route) without having to accompany them with all their accoutrements as before.
for and on behalf of architecture plb