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Ida & Billy design sustainable washrooms for mix-use complex in Guangzhou.
Situated in the commercial centre of Guangzhou, China, the Taikoo Hui is a mixed-use complex incorporating a shopping mall, two grade-A office towers, a hotel, and serviced apartment. The shopping mall receives tens of thousands of visitors daily, and its amenity facilities require an upgrade. Created by Hong Kong-based studio Ida & Billy, the sustainable design washroom aims to raise the environmental awareness in the public realm and to become the role model of sustainability in the commercial and retail sector. The design wants to tie back to nature, formally as well as environmentally. Sustainability, spatial sculpting, and human comfort were the key points that drove the whole design.
Minimum alterations were made to the original efficient layout, minimizing structural and piping alteration. The program consists of three corridors of cubicles, washbasins, and urinals. The wall coverings were removed, discovering round and tilted square columns that were painted to form a homogenous white mass to engage the space with a unique shape and angle that hints the underlining structures. The white and round setting is applied to give a bright and clean ambient –walls join the ceiling seamlessly and smoothly with curved surfaces, to diffuse light for plants to duo-function as general lighting. Glass fibre reinforced gypsum panels (GRG) are used to form the curved surfaces, for their durability and use of recycled materials. The curved edges also eliminate possible dark, dirty edges.
Indoor plants are grown to purify the air, raise indoor oxygen level, and add life and colours of nature. The plants are grown above human level for better management and tidiness, hiding the pots inside the GRG applications, to enable the plants to form pure strokes of green. Irrigation utilizes grey water collected from the wash basins, supported by a local filtration system. The floor is a newly-casted dark grey terrazzo stone, where the original sandstone and grey tiles were crushed as aggregates for the new terrazzo, forming unique golden chips that reveal the idea of recycling.
The new washbasin counter is an all-in-one station. The white corian counter curves up to join the LED lighting strip, mirror, and ceiling as one integral piece, with a tree-shaped icon echoing to its collection. An integrated water tap and hand dryer product is installed for sustainability and cleanness: it avoids dripping water on counter-top and floor, saves spaces and paper towels. In total, the new toilets save water usage by 80% and reduce waste volume by 60% on a daily basis. Two fans are added to enhance fresh air movement, to replace mechanical cooling in winter and to reduce the cooling load in summer.
The baby-caring rooms are also upgraded with improved facilities and a playful design. The original layout is given minimum alterations to allow for a seating area and an additional baby-caring room, the resulted kinked passage, and simplified arches continue the ‘grotto’ idea. Within this white grotto rooms are differentiated by their graphic patterns, each consisting of a simple geometry or theme that lead through arched openings of varying heights – higher ones for the baby-caring room, and lower ones for the kids’ toilets.
Salvocorp Staron’s GREENGUARD certification makes it the ideal surface to include with environmentally conscious projects like that of Ida & Billy’s. It’s ease of use also allows it to be perfectly positioned around the bathroom in a variety of design ways. Salvocorp Staron takes the environment into consideration with every project and is committed to bettering the state of the environment, one project at a time.
The white and ‘cyclorama’ setting gives a bright and clean ambient.
The toilet forms a whole integrated grotto space, with a playful sense of hide-and-seek.
Magnified patterns give a sense of playfulness for the baby-caring room.
Each room consists of a simple geometry or theme, as a self-contained world for the family and the kids.