Eateries that get modernist makeovers run the risk of feeling painfully dated after a few years. Take Brasserie. Descending the illuminated glass staircase into the dining room as monitors over the gel bar stools broadcast your grand entry doesn’t carry quite the same thrill these days (not least because the monitors are mostly static now). Seven years on, Brasserie is starting to look a Park Avenue dame wearing Comme des Garçons from five seasons ago. But how are the loos holding up?
Concept: Modernist maze. Down a wheelchair ramp, giant frosted glass doors open onto a mirrored pane that must be sidestepped in order to reach the stalls.
Privacy: Strangely, the urinal gets its own stall, and stranger still, there’s a slot in the stall door big enough to pass a filet mignon through.
Amenities: A central underlit basin passes through the wall between the men’s and women’s rooms. It’s topped by a double-sided mirror that, on the men’s-room side, reads in illuminated letters “wash is to purge is to deny is to wash is” and on the women’s side reads “clean is to absolve is to reform is to.” Um, we hope no one’s purging in here.
Drawbacks: The floor’s penny tiles are sticky and discolored, and there are signs of water damage in the honeycombed glass walls. Time for another face-lift?
Strategy: If you’re using the urinal, take a napkin to drape over that weird slot in the door.