Creative problem solving where it’s needed

6 Oct

Many downtown business and condo owners, of which I count myself one, will tell you tales of urine rot at the doorways to their buildings which will leave you bent over, weeping.

The various clubs, bars and strip joints vomit their drunken patrons onto the street every night at closing time. Running the gamut of Old McDonald farm noises, the male ingredient in this body broth then makes a beeline for any alcove or recessed doorway for bladder relief.

An ongoing mud-wrestling match then ensues between stratas, property management companies, downtown businesses, City Hall, the police, and residence associations. And mud is dirty.

So the City decided to try something out. Instead of doing a public awareness ad campaign, they hired a Vancouver-based architectural firm – no one on the Island could do it? I merely ask the question – to design a public urinal that would discourage the late-night public widdling and yet wouldn’t itself become a target for abuse and defacement.

Here’s a good article from Metropolis on the new urinal, with the architect’s blueprints.

This is beautiful creative problem-solving. The steel tubular bars resist graffiti while remaining low-cost. The urinal looks kind of cool and offers privacy. By not being an enclosed room, I’m going to guess it doesn’t stink as bad as traditional urinals either.

The result just yesterday won the top prize at the Pinnacle Awards, a Washington D.C. competition that honours innovative solutions to downtown problems. Better still, the City of Victoria has ordered more of these for the downtown core.

For the moment though, the ladies still have to hold it.

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5 Responses to “Creative problem solving where it’s needed”

  1. Ross G West October 6, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    …..the architect was a real “wiz”

  2. Jody Beck October 6, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    how could this piss anyone off?

  3. dougbrowncreative October 6, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Wee seem to have some hecklers in the audience…

  4. Eden October 9, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    An improvement on the existing four-sided plastic urinals that can usually be found outside the Bay Center.
    Everyone appreciates privacy: There’s nothing worse than being cat-called by a guy (and three of his closest friends) while he’s peeing… Not that I’ve experienced that or anything.

  5. dougbrowncreative October 9, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    My understanding of drunken men leads me to guess they will cluster around the outside of the urinal and piss on it. But you never know: something in the reptilian core of the brain may malfunction. They may wait their turn. Thanks for the comment Eden.

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