Thiksey Monastry, Ladakh, India © Bernhard S. / 500px
Monument Valley, Utah, USA © Jure Kravanja / 500px
When it comes to restrooms, it’s often assumed that form follows function, but Lonely Planet’s decadent new book, Toilets: a Spotter’s Guide, elevates the latrine, so often scorned by modern society, to the realm of the objet d’art. Spanning the globe, the book features hundreds of facilities, giving each lavatory the attention it deserves.
The porcelain, metal, and stone subjects of Toilets range from the much-frequented to the barely used. Most are functioning. Some are decorative. All are treated with dignity. There are makeshift outhouses and palatial thrones, a few designed by leading architects and commissioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others are might have been overlooked for their modesty, but indeed, even the most humble of loos have their own brand of allure, whether it be an astonishing view or a surprising history.
Toilets laughs in the face of taboo, and in so doing, it reveals the charm and wit of what is perhaps the most unrecognized field of interior design. It’s a book about toilets, but it’s also about the people who use them. Find the book here.
Log outhouse, Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska, USA © Sunny Awazuhara- Reed / Design Pics / Getty Images
Outhouse, British Columbia, Canada © Chris Kolaczan / 500px
His ‘n’ Hers, Jericoacoara Beach, Brazil © Thomas Heinze / 500px
Sony Center, Berlin, Germany © Werner Monatsspruch / 500px
Toilet island, near Palcencia, Belize © Tomas Mahring / 500px
‘Comfort toilets,’ Chott el Djerid, Tunisia © Lucio Valmaggia / 500px
Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Iceland © Gisli Hjalmar Svendsen/ 500px
Outhouse, Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal © David Ruiz Luna / 500px
Waterfall Washroom, Taroko National Park, Taiwan © Jan Philipp Kohrs / 500px
Jonsknuten, Kongsberg, Norway © Olaf Menz / 500px
Prototype Space Toilet © Adam Jamieson / Getty Images