V&A washrooms by Glowacka Rennie



London architects Glowacka Rennie have completed the interior of the ladies toilets at the V&A museum in London.


The design includes a black, stone wall, black cubicle interiors and brass fittings in a white-painted interior with a high ceiling.


A blue, painted installation by Swiss artist Felice Varini resolves into a pattern of circles when viewed in the mirror above the wash basins.


Here's some more information from Glowacka Rennie:


In May 2008 Glowacka Rennie won an invited competition for the design of the Women’s Amenities off the Grand Entrance hall at the V&A.

Competition extract:

“Their location means that they are well used by visitors and guests who attend major V&A events and parties in the Grand Entrance. The intention is to completely overhaul these toilets to create beautifully designed, stylish, elegant, comfortable and well-considered facilities.”


The purpose of the museum’s foundation was to raise standards in and promote fine and decorative arts; craftsmanship and materiality are therefore a very important part of the design.


A new stone datum unifies the space - a heavy ‘base’ into which the visitor descends down a new staircase. A light vaulted ceiling works with the rhythm of the existing windows and exaggerates the generous height of the space. This ceiling is slowly ‘revealed’ to the visitor as they descend down the stair and turn the corner to see the full effect.


A single black stone wall and black cubicle interiors provide a counterpoint to the otherwise light coloured space. Brass fittings, trims and balustrade add subtle, jewellery-like accents to the monochrome material palette.


Felice Varini, a Swiss artist known for his geometric perspective-localized paintings has added a fantastic, painted installation to the completed works. The hidden shape is ‘revealed’ in the basin mirror.





Posted on Thursday April 30th 2009 at 6:30 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • amazing – wow, one of the best projects i’ve seen in a long time

  • slater

    unbelieveable effort to pull that idea off! I’d love to see it in perosn, cheers!

  • Zed

    Never seen such a beautiful installation in a bathroom, or really, never seen any installation type piece in a bathroom. I love the playfulness of the circles with the grown up and almost ornate stone and brass.

  • Hmm.. you might catch me taking a peek.. although I may get in trouble by a disgruntled old woman.. :) Great work!

  • Anthony Hall

    Hi Eleanor & Agnieszka,

    Congratulations – the project looks amazing, perfectly executed, and the transition from the old space to the new is spot on. I was curious to see the end result having watched your Architecture Foundation talk on ‘Vimeo’ and then it appears on Dezeen. Hope to see you both soon.


    P.S. Loving the taps also!!!

  • Anthony Hall

    Will the boys ever be able to pop in and have a look or are they excluded? Hope there is a phase 2 Gents in the (ehm) pipeline!!! If not hopefully the success of this will convince the V&A.

  • nick the greek

    this is brilliant

  • Tom

    What a shame that I will never be able to have a look.

  • Mr Boyce

    Very smooth, stone and brass – Trad V Chic. Like the wall Art… Might just pop in…in a dress …really must make some spaces together soon…

  • Bent Stork

    This space looks fantastic – a welcome and overdue resurgence for gold taps. Perhaps you would be interested in doing something similar for my new art gallery in copenhagen….

  • subvertlab

    the artist felice varini has been making these architectonic anamorphosis for the last 30 years … Does Art become good design when going down to the bathroom?

  • Shouldn’t the entertainment continue behind the doors? I would like some creativity to have been put into the stalls as well.

  • As Project Manager it was a pleasure to work with the team at Glowacka Rennie – hope we get the oppotunity to work together again!!!

  • Azm

    Am ready to annoy the ladies by sneaking into this toilet!!!

  • Fundacja Galerii Foksal

    E Krasinski revival

  • Rajeev

    Will any Woman like it… I think only guys like it…it not feminine at all..

  • Looking very good. Congrats

  • jess

    it’s crazy beautiful.

  • dominionD

    love the visual play of the blue circles as you look down the corridors….trippy


    i think there are nice materials but not a very clever project

  • Philip Tabor

    An elegant gift to the people – well, half of them – where they might least expect it. Fresh, witty and surprising. Congratulations to the architects and to the V&A.

  • Charlie Scott

    Love it, big fan of the simple becoming stunning.
    What a brave and beautiful design, wish I could see it in person!
    Big Congrats.
    Celebratory drinks needed!

  • Emily

    Most beautiful and creative design that I have seen in a long time. Wish I had clients like this!

  • Aurélie Amable

    what a clever and elegant idea!!!! a beautiful mix of 2 and 3 dimensions. Circles make this fine mouvement wider. So clever, and very feminin too…for those who might think it’s not.


  • Christopher

    Absolutely fabulous – what an amazing and original idea. I’ll just have to don a frock to get in! A big congratulations hug from your (male) cousin. Would be nice to combine our creativity one day…..architecture/music seem to go well together.

  • Peter and Viv

    Congratulations, what an achievement! A very attractive and imaginative design. Deserves guided tours.

  • Michal

    haha, no matter what the consequences will be – Im going in =)

  • William D

    Something makes me think all the comments above are by the architects or their friends. Its ok but but nothing to get excited over.

  • Samantha

    I like it. Think the circles are clever, like those pavement chalk drawings, you have to stand at just the right spot for the illusion to work.
    I’d agree with the other comment though, not the most amazing design, just nice and simple, clean. Hope the floors aren’t too reflective. Nothing worse than a reflective floor in a bathroom stall. Seen that too many times with marble and stone.

  • john

    Leonardo should be acknowledged in this work, as he produced the first anamorphosic construction.