UW Bathrooms has begun to wake up from its winter dormant the last couple days. The reasons for a lack of maintenance has been due to classwork and other extracurriculars taking (forcing?) precedence this winter quarter, making it hard for me to write about new bathroom joints I stumble upon. I’m really hoping to see an increase in reviews but seeing how school and life has treated me the last few fortnights (Re: February, seriously, fuck that month) I’m not going to get too optimistic. One can hope. Take these reviews as they come. Maybe I’ll get some guest posts from time to time; people have submitted some to me but given my one-sided relationship with email they go unnoticed. You don’t have a choice when you get a smartphone though. It’s no excuse now. The stakes have been raised.
Gould Hall is nice because it’s far enough off campus that nobody’s really going to go there just to hang out or play Starcraft on public computers but it’s also close enough to other buildings, primarily south campus dorms, that it’s not completely isolated either. So anyone that goes there is typically associated with the college of architecture in some way, shape or form. It is usually bustling with human beings containing borderline toxic amounts of stress hormones and caffeine in their bloodstream because of the 12,000 project deadlines they’re trying to meet simultaneously so it’s usually not a place to go talk to and meet strangers unless you’re meeting your project group members, where you will see groups of three or four of them beer-bonging coffee and seething at the same time because they’ve been in the studio for the past 16 hours and CS5 crashed on them for the third time. So needless to say it’s a good place to work on homework by yourself if you’re around that part of campus. I would recommend studying in the library on the third floor. It has a neat view of downtown/Capitol Hill.
The building itself is a cross between a construction site and an Embassy Suites. It’s got the atrium thing going on and the structures are made of concrete with wood paneling/accents. Another touch is the staircase spanning over the atrium. It’s a really cool building but plebes will complain about how it’s too far to walk to get to the next staircase to get to the next floor. I personally don’t mind it because that feature deters such complainers from coming back, making traffic in Gould constant but pleasantly light.
Possibly because the designers knew it would be somewhat of a pain to get to the floor above or below you, they accommodated each floor with a restroom. The catch is that they are put in opposite corners of each floor, and on top of that, there is no relation between the corner that they are in and floor they are on. Depending on the entrance you use, it’s going to be a coin-flip as to what bathroom you’re going to use if you’re in a hurry. For convenience purposes I sought refuge in the men’s room on the first floor, which is located by the pain-in-the-ass coffee bar that WARNING: ONLY TAKES CASH.
The entire bathroom is red, which reminded me of Carrie when I first walked in. I felt slightly uncomfortable knowing that there was a possibility that it might have been a women’s restroom at one point, due to perpetuated and reinforced gender stereotypes regarding color associations and interior design techniques with gender type. 2 seconds into using this restroom and it’s not looking good. This bathroom’s got me feeling guilty about having to think that I assumed it was a women’s restroom. What a male chauvinist pig I am.
Things drastically improved when i delved into the depths of the restroom. Gould M1, and as far as I know, all the men’s rooms in Gould, has a cool layout where the urinals and stalls are on opposite sides of a wall that look towards each other. A “hallway” with sinks connects the two corridors. Urinals are on the right side of the wall and stalls are on the left. While the stalls are not entirely isolated, it does reduce the amount of traffic that they are exposed to because they are kept away from the urinals, which means that all you private poopers potentially have a new quiet spot. The urinals are small and minimalist in design which are nice since I don’t like a big, impending hunk of porcelain to pee in. Urinating is a delicate procedure for men. Urinal stalls are an added bonus. The sink area was pretty clean. Natural light supplemented the airiness of the ambiance which made washing my hands a pleasantly relaxing experience. By the way, if you don’t wash your hands after you pee, you’re gross as hell. Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur and Florence Nightingale all turn in their graves when some ignorant simpleton doesn’t wash their nasty ass hands after they touch their genitals and clean their buttholes.
While first impressions of the bathroom left me daunting, the layout that encouraged privacy left me feeling positive about the experience. Gould may not be a place that you normally head to but you will have ample safe havens to go pee.