2 Bedrooms, 6 Baths


A NEW type of bathroom has recently been evolved. It invites three persons, regardless of sex, age, or previous condition of acquaintance, to enter the same washup and make-up area at the same time. Such a bathroom, to accommodate three, costs but little more than two bathrooms — showing thus a clear gain.

Obviously, new problems of deference and protocol will arise in connection with the three-person bathroom — but not insoluble problems. There will always come to the fore an individual with executive ability, who will carry off the situation with cheerful directness. He will say, “Molly, slip in there, take off your clothes and bathe. Mr. Sprague, shave at the lavatory. I will occupy the cubicle.” In a little while he emerges and efficiently tries to keep out of the way, contorting gymnastically to avoid the radiator. Molly comes out of the bath space. “The cubicle for you, Molly. Mr. Sprague, you take the bath while I shave.” In the midst of lather, as Molly presently reappears, he bubbles, “Send in Mrs. Archer as you go out. Mrs. Archer, very sorry! We have only the cubicle vacant at the moment.”It has perhaps a flavor of indelicacy, but it is all direct and on the beam.

Of course, the pitcher-bowl technique of nostalgic days gone by was more secluded, more leisurely, more sweetly conducive to communion with self. But that was in the far long-ago, impossible of reconstruction now. We are carefully progressing toward the cliffdweller theme of simplified housekeeping. Sequestered seclusion is no longer feasible. We must recapture the original frankness of which the race was once the master.

Some of the designers struggle a little against the idea of goldfishing the bathroom routines. They provide a lot of booths against the wall of a hall or against a bedroom wall — the occupants of the room presumably work on a schedule which gets them up early and out of the way.

The prospective bathroomer goes along knocking at doors. He finds a vacant spot, which happens to be a toothbrushing routine. Finished that, he proceeds with his knocking and finds another spot. A lady emerges from the hardest location and he, carrying it off with smile and merry quip, gracefully enters. It is all in the point of view. Earlier culture consisted of a determination to stand as many things as possible, but to reduce their number. Present culture is the determination to stand as many things as possible.

We inevitably have before us, therefore, the knotty problem of redesigning people who are to occupy houses. Fresh, inspired, carefully studied schemes for houses, similar to these arrangements which advanced thinking has made possible for bathrooms, are bound to appear. We must pause as we confront them. We must humbly realize our shortcomings. We must be aware that our immediate project is, not to build modern houses, but to build people suited to occupy modern houses.