Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Berrick Saul Building at the University of York: Finally, a British Nod in the Direction of the 21st Century

After our brief plunge, so to speak, into the working man's toilet, we find ourselves craving the rarefied air of an academic environment. The Berrick Saul Building at the University of York is a pleasantly ventilated building, rich in airyness and cleanness of line. The loos are delightfully hygienic, and leave very little to desire.

Both the plain white toilet roll and the bin are hygienically covered, and cleanness and hygiene pervade throughout. The flush is not water-saving, but it is easy to push and cripple-friendly. Apparently, however, there are people who can't quite figure out how to use it, since this sign politely but firmly requests people to flush:

Undoing the pleasant impression of the sensible toilet and flush, the coat-hook is a pretentious nightmare in its useless designer poshness - it doesn't hold a coat and a rucksack! We do not enjoy putting our bag on the floor of  a public toilet.

Two very annoyed thumbs down!
The tap is a joy to use, being an easy-to-use mixer tap, which actually produces pleasantly warm water! The soap dispenser is the stylish University of York one, familiar to readers of this blog.

There is an air dryer, but we won't deduct any points for this one, since it is a Veltia Hand Drier, incorporating the Microban material. We haven't done enough research on this to be convinced of its hygiene- and eco-credentials, but apparently the Veltia hand dryer is both hygienic and environmentally friendly. The Privy Counsel is generally against air dryers, considering them archaic and unhygienic, and preferring revolving towels (more on this in an upcoming blog update) or, at a pinch, paper towels, despite the negative impact these have on the world's trees. This air dryer, however, may just be the perfect solution to our combined ecological and hygienic concerns!

As an interesting aside, the baby changing table is in the men's toilets. We have yet to decide whether this is a brave attack on stifling gender stereotypes, or a pragmatic utilisation of space.

 Points: 9/15

The University of York
York YO10 5DD
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)1904 320000

Related Reading
Let's Get Medieval: King's Manor Toilet
Revisiting Academia: King's Manor, Main Toilets
The Intellectual Streak Continues: Leeds University Library Bogs, or, Yorkshire Graffitti 
 Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Toilet-Roll Holders (But Were Afraid to Ask)

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