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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, December 9, 2023

Potty Talk: Potties of a far-off land

Potty Talk: Potties of a far off land

When I, for the second time in my three years at Tufts, walked into 574 Boston Ave., my legs were weary and my beard visibly longer than it had been when I set out. After I set my hiking sticks aside, I lifted my eyes to the majesty of the building and was nary disappointed. The ceilings were high, natural light streamed in from all angles, the surfaces were soft to the touch and the seats were vaguely uncomfortable but in a modern way. All I had left to see before declaring this site a new Eden were its bathrooms.

AMBIANCE

The all-gender restrooms in 574 are a real testament to the power of rectangles. It goes nearly without saying that the room is rectangular, seeing as how rectangular rooms constitute the vast majority of the world’s rooms. What eludes reason is the way the designers, if they may be so called, decided to employ rectangular designs on the floor, walls and ceiling.

The walls have long, thin, white tiles that are oriented in the “hamburger” direction. The dark gray floor tiles run perpendicular to the wall’s “hamburgers.” On the ceiling lie probably the most famous subset of the rectangle — squares. The mirror, too, is a rectangle. The sum of all this geometric madness is that you can see nothing but right angles; you may come to believe that you yourself are made up of right angles. This is not the case. It gets a perfect square: 9/10.

PRIVACY

There is nothing quite like the horror of sitting on a toilet and hearing someone outside wiggle the doorknob. The designers seem to have had a little oopsie and forgotten to put a vacancy indicator on the door. The only way to know if the bathroom is in use is to wiggle the handle. This is unfortunate for both the bathroom-goer and the wiggler because now both know of the other’s existence and both know that one is impatiently waiting outside the bathroom. This rushes the bathroom goer and creates an awkward interaction upon their departure. 3/10.

CONVENIENCE

It is extremely convenient to customers of Titan Gas & Car Wash. For most others, a quick T ride to HarvardSquare is likely quicker. 5/10

HOW MANY THINGS DO I HAVE TO TOUCH

Here is where my review must make like the line at Hodge and split in two before becoming one again at some random point. While the all-gender and gendered bathrooms are of similar quality, they have a key difference in the touch department. The gendered bathrooms have top-of-the-line Dyson Airblade Vs, while the all-gender bathrooms are stuck with touch- and disease-friendly paper towels.

Both bathrooms have manual sinks and soap dispensers, which was disappointing given the building’s modern architecture. 4/10

These bathrooms have a nice facade, but unfortunately fall just short on many of the more advanced metrics and get an overall grade of 5.3/10