Unusual and interesting toilets from all around the world.

Toilets of Higher Education

Toilets of Higher Education

The first of these is room 304 in the Recitation Building at Purdue University. We're looking across the north end of the Memorial Mall, past Stanley Coulter Hall, the Chemistry building, and Heavilon Hall.

Urinals and sinks in room 304 of the Recitation Building at Purdue University

The mysterious Secret Staff Toilet is in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

Purdue's ECE Secret Staff Bathroom interior.
Purdue's ECE Secret Staff Toilet.
Purdue ECE hallway.
Purdue ECE hallway.

It's room ECE 126, directly across from one entry to the large lecture hall in ECE 129. The building key (coded "EBSMA") which opens all the exterior doors also admits you to its retro and very plain interior.

Purdue ECE building map.
Purdue ECE building map.

Just like the nuclear reactor in the basement, the Secret Staff Restroom does not appear on the building maps.

Bad urinals in Purdue's physics building.
Bad urinals in Purdue's Potter engineering building.

Meanwhile, Purdue has some of the worst urinals in the world.

The row of four is in the Physics building. The two of a slightly different though still terrible design are in the Potter engineering building,

Beyond the pure mystification factor (what are these things, seatless toilets?), they combine the worst of several possible features:

  • Extra-high water use per flush
  • Unusually high placement and large water bowl maximizes splash-back
  • Privacy? What's that?

Purdue's Undergraduate Research Library is similarly plagued.

Here is a general-purpose public restroom in Heavilon Hall at Purdue University. There is a pair of restrooms labeled "Men" and "Women" on each floor of the building, except in the basement where building infrastructure got in the way of one of the two. So there's a single restroom with a locking door.

Signs and entry to unisex restroom at Purdue University.
Signs and entry to unisex restroom at Purdue University.
Signs at entry to unisex restroom at Purdue University.
Signs at entry to unisex restroom at Purdue University.
Two sinks and a urinal in a unisex restroom at Purdue University.

Once you get inside, it's pretty bland. Two sinks, a urinal, a handicap-accessible toilet, and a fold-down baby-changing table.

The only thing at all unusual or interesting is that the janitor's storage closet is through a door that you access through the toilet stall, making this one of the few toilet stalls with two doors.

Signs at entry to unisex restroom at Purdue University.
Signs at entry to unisex restroom at Purdue University.
Signs at entry to unisex restroom at Purdue University.

Here is another unisex restroom at Purdue University, room 017 of the Electrical Engineering building. It's one large tiled room with no dividers, like the klizma chamber in the Russian hospital.

Entry door to unisex restroom in the Electrical Engineering building at Purdue University.
Unisex restroom sign in the Electrical Engineering building at Purdue University.
Unisex restroom with urinal and toilet in the Electrical Engineering building at Purdue University.
Unisex restroom with sink and diaper changing table in the Electrical Engineering building at Purdue University.
Unisex restroom with paper towel dispenser, tampon dispenser, and trash can in the Electrical Engineering building at Purdue University.
Tampon dispenser in unisex restroom in the Electrical Engineering building at Purdue University.
Women's toilet at the Triple XXX diner in West Lafayette, Indiana.  On the hill but on the level.

The Triple XXX diner is a popular local spot in West Lafayette, just down the hill from the Purdue campus. "On the hill, but on the level", they say.

The classic dish there is the biscuits and gravy. Below is the notorious Full Order.

It's open 24 hours and is next to a university campus, so it gets pretty hard use. This isn't exactly a campus toilet, but Triple XXX is close enough to being a part of the Purdue campus to qualify. During a recent visit, the men's room was "out of service." I'm sure we didn't want to know the details. Here is the relatively nice women's.

Triple XXX diner in West Lafayette, Indiana.  On the hill but on the level.
Full order of biscuits and gravy at the Triple XXX diner in West Lafayette, Indiana.  On the hill but on the level.
Eating at the Triple XXX diner in West Lafayette, Indiana.  On the hill but on the level.
Eating at the Triple XXX diner in West Lafayette, Indiana.  On the hill but on the level.
MIT restroom along the Infinite Hallway.

This is the mens room at the west end of the Infinite Hallway. It's room 7-107 in the Rogers Building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

MIT hallway.

This is one mens room in the Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Harvard Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology restroom.
Cambridge University park urinal.

This fairly high-tech urinal is in the park adjacent to the campus of Cambridge University. The hand-washing water flushes it, and there is a (nearly hidden) hot-air hand drier also built in.

It's not handicap-accessible, so this is not Steven Hawking's. He is on the faculty there, in the position once held by Isaac Newton.

Also see the High-Tech Toilet page.

Cambridge University park urinal.
Magdalene College, Oxford University.

This urinal and condom machine are in Magdalene College, Oxford University, Oxford, U.K.