Tag: Coronavirus

The War Against Coronavirus Comes to the Bathroom

illustration of a late-1800s bathroom
A state-of-the-art bathroom of the late 1800s, when concerns about hygiene and infectious disease began to reshape American homes. New York Public Library

Cholera and tuberculosis outbreaks transformed the design and technology of the home bathroom. Will Covid-19 inspire a new wave of hygiene innovation?

If Lloyd Alter were building a new house right now, he’d be sure to add one unusual feature: a bathroom sink in the front vestibule. “We’re going to see a real resurgence of the vestibule, I think,” says Alter, a former architect and design historian who now teaches Sustainable Design at the Ryerson School of Interior Design. “This is a transition zone from the outside to the inside, where you take off your dirty stuff and you wash your hands before you go into the house.”


Alter predicted that disease-avoidance would rise to the fore of bathroom design a few years ago, when

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