Page B2.2 . 11 July 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - Building Department
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    A Universal House


    The first-floor bathroom suite contains a bathing fixture still in the conceptual stage. In some respects, it is like the more traditional bathtub in that the options are provided within the same fixture, and it occupies a similar shape and area.

    However, the movable segmented floor of the fixture can be positioned or removed to create four bathing options. The user may be submerged in the water, seated on the bench, stand, or use a shower wheelchair.

    The second bathroom upstairs off the master bedroom also offers at least four bathing options. Unlike the fixture downstairs with the segmented floor, fixed features are used here to create choices.

    The area just outside the tub is the shower and a seat spans the back of the tub and extends across the shower area. The shower has a sloped floor to contain water and no curb or lip, thus allowing someone in a shower wheelchair to enter the shower area.

    These are but a few of the universal design features of the still-evolving next-generation house. It is possible for all new houses to have incorporated these and other features within the next 25 years.

    Leslie C. Young, Director of Design, and Rex J. Pace, Coordinator for Technical Assistance, are with the Center for Universal Design, College of Design, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    This article is excerpted from Universal Design Handbook, copyright 2001 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, reprinted with permission of the publisher. The book is available from McGraw-Hill and

    Note: Images in the book are in black and white.



    ArchWeek Photo

    Multibodal bathing fixture concept design. Sunken tub.
    Image: Leslie C. Young and Rex J. Pace

    ArchWeek Photo

    Second-floor shared bath.
    Image: Leslie C. Young and Rex J. Pace

    ArchWeek Photo

    Universal Design Handbook edited by Wolfgang F. E. Preiser and Elaine Ostroff.
    Image: McGraw-Hill


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

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