It’s All in the Details
Sometimes changing one thing, changes everything.
For the past 14 years, the Ohio-based specialized services firm Cintas has held a competition to answer a vital question: What is the greatest public restroom in America? This year’s finalists hailed from all over the country, from wine bars in Miami, ball parks in Cincinnati, music halls in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and pork-focused bistros in Boston.
But this year’s champion bathroom, crowned by voters on Cintas’ website, is not nestled inside some upscale restaurant in a major city. It’s a public restroom in Minturn, Colorado.
A collaboration between the town of Minturn, LaN Architecture’s Monika Wittig, LGM 3d Studios, and Noble Welding, the restrooms are meant to resemble a passageway into a Rocky Mountain mine. “The town rallied together and showed the value of a restroom that’s creative and memorable for guests,” Cintas’s assistant marketing manager Jillian Bauer said in a statement.
It is a rare win for the public restroom, which faces persecution all over America, and indeed, all over the world. Minturn’s win proves that public facilities are not only worth having, but worth thoughtfully designing, too.
Images of the competition’s other finalists are above.
Barrel of Fun
The restrooms at Charleston Distilling in Charleston, South Carolina. “The restroom is part of a lot of Instagram photos!” says co-owner Stephen Heilman.
Restroom at Fitton Center for the Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio. The tiles were created by Cincinnati-based artist Jan Brown Checco “as an homage to our relationship with the earth and the importance of conservation.” (Cintas)
The “Tall Toilet” in Perry Lakes Park near Marion, Alabama. The restroom was designed in 2003 by students at Auburn University’s Rural Studio. (Cintas)
Salt of the Earth
The restroom at Strataca, a Hutchinson, Kansas, salt mine attraction that is open to the public. The men’s and women’s bathrooms are carved out of a stratified salt bed. (Cintas)