Located in Orlando, Florida, L2 Studios, Inc. is a boutique architecture and interior design firm practicing in the hospitality and leisure markets worldwide. For over 27 years the L2 has served blue-chip hotel and resort development companies with master-planning, concept design, architecture, interior design, and branding. This award-winning firm maintains its iconic client list and unique market position through exceptional creativity and development of innovative guest experiences with a fully- integrated approach to design and project delivery. This synergistic methodology results in successful outcomes, achieved client visions, and memorable guest experiences.
Thoughtful design can mitigate the spread of disease while promoting confidence and wellness in public facilities. Due to social distancing, confined spaces such as restrooms have been traditionally programmed to meet the minimum size required by codes and ADA for primary functions such as grooming, hand washing, and eliminating. Often overlooked, secondary functions include waiting, baby-changing and breastfeeding, but are critical to disease prevention and guest experience.
Redundant circulation, storage, and fixtures in traditional gender segregated facilities is further exacerbated by post-pandemic standards of physical separation. Segregated restrooms are the standard in the United States but are evolving with new initiatives and laws addressing universal design and inclusion, as well as the hybridization of cultures. The all-gender approach requires thoughtful planning of sight lines and access where gender-separation is required but increases efficiency for cleaning and use of other fixtures. This concept demonstrates that in the same footprint as traditional restrooms an all-gender restroom can exceed the number of fixtures plus provide improved circulation, social separation, and amenities such as mother-baby and grooming spaces. Furthermore, if all-gender restrooms become mainstream, the introduction of a waiting lounge as a more open transition area between lobbies and restrooms is an added feature.
Hand washing is easily accessible, and a central feature of the space. Integration of automatic point of use water, soap and dryer with direct exhaust above each wash station minimizes the spread of air and water-borne pathogens. Inspired by self-cleaning public toilets in Europe and Asia, fully enclosed standard and deluxe toilet stalls provide privacy, accessibility, and choice for a diverse population. Prefabrication of stalls and curvilinear surfaces with antimicrobial properties promote cleanability, invisible movement of scrubbed air, and disinfecting light across edgeless forms. Occupancy sensors and notification systems improve the flow and timing of users.
Public restrooms are the most heavily used spaces in any facility and warrant more attention than is often given to their planning and design. There is a direct correlation between guest perception of cleanliness and attention to detail in restrooms and overall satisfaction with the hotel’s quality and guest experience.
Debra Lemons, Goran Knezevic, Jorge Martinez, Rich Molina, Cibele Palacio, Lee Whaley