Nature calls visitors to the 6th floor of Deji Plaza luxury shopping mall in Xuanwu District, China.
There, a new public restroom ushers weary visitors into a lush, plant-filled sanctuary with seven dedicated rest and recovery spaces designed by Shanghai-based X+Living.
"We conceived this project in hope of paying tribute to the increasingly distant spring within the current environmental crisis," says lead designer and founder of X+Living, Li Xiang.
Forms taken from the spring garden - flowers, plants, insects - are added to the glossy floor design that we first see when entering the toilet corridor, called the Experience Hall. Black and white shapes resemble butterfly wings, the ceiling is gilded with design details reminiscent of bees, and white flowers spring from a fountain in the centre of the hall. Xiang used striking green wallpaper, which is covered with a gold second layer. "Rich" palms and tropical plants playfully emerge, while floral-inspired lighting fixtures wrap around the walls like creepers.
A little further inside, guests will reach the living room, which features a set of plush sofas designed by X+Living to look like a bouquet of blooming flowers that invites everyone to rest or even wait for a friend or relative. Automatic doors and green marble sinks inspired by garden fountains are placed to the left, as part of a wing that includes the children's room and the medical room.
In the treatment room, Xiang hid LED strips around the ceiling to soften the lighting, aiming to create a relaxing atmosphere. He also used leather and wood, rounding all the edges and corners to keep guests safe.
The salon is also the dividing point for the men's and women's toilets, which are cleverly marked with a rose and a palm leaf on the nameplate and have 9 and 16 cubicles respectively. Both facilities also have changing rooms where small sofas and wireless charging stations are available for extra comfort!
Xiang wants to take care of people's needs, and the generous use of plants is perfectly aligned with the goal of creating a revitalizing environment. The designer hopes that visitors will be surprised when they enter the space, as they would never imagine that they would encounter a garden-like room when they go to the bathroom in a mall. "At the end of the day, my only hope is that after removing this 'layer' of mystery, the project will exist for a long time and become a garden, that is, a 'shelter', accessible to every urban visitor."
Discover more photos of the most impressive public toilet in the gallery!