Our Red Line in the Parents’ Bathroom

Esin Tümer Kurnaz
5 minutes

“Service” is sustained in a relationship based on service providers and service recipients. The teacher gives, the student takes. The doctor gives, the patient takes. So is the universe we live in. The earth gives and human beings take. It is possible to multiply examples within the routine of service providers and recipients. The houses we live in are no different in this respect. The corridors serve, the hall receives. Bathrooms serve, rooms receive. Stores (if any!) the house, expands it, sustains it. For some reason, in our dwellings, these serving volumes are always small, always idle, always dysfunctional, always ignored. However, if there are no service providers, is it possible for service recipients to survive? With the new world, new ways of working, the old pandemic, the new endemic, do the places we spend a lot of time in serve us adequately?

In this period, we realized that the box we call home is not just an “L” sofa in the living room. Bags waiting for cleaning procedures in narrow corridors, tiny tables thrown on balconies to breathe, small toilets that make a forced return to the warehouse, lives overflowing from non-existent anterooms onto the apartment landing…

But we have a master bathroom!

On paper, it is already not possible for three rooms and a living room houses to function as living spaces, while in the new era of more houses and less outside, it is obviously not possible at all. We have yet to see a spatial response from a single construction company or the design team of the towering public housing projects, such as vacuum cleaners and laundry hooks here or boots and boots there. Let alone a storage room at the entrance of the house that can take all the weight, we have been made to forget what a hallway is with apartment doors opening to the corridor.

But we have a “master bathroom”!

Not to mention the concept of the toilet opening right next to the kitchen door. We’re used to it, it’s normal. While letting in the incoming and removing the outgoing (including domestic-electronic-medical waste) from the house are all actions that have an operating system and a spatial equivalent, there is no space. In a world where even car bodywork is sent by cargo, if your carboy of water arrives at more than one door, you will look at it in the foyer (if there is one). A few boots, a few sneakers, two or three bags, a wet coat, a sweaty cardigan, three carboys… You carefully close your apartment door that opens to the corridor by first stepping aside and then glance at them all in the corridor of one and a half people…

But we have an en-suite bathroom!

Children grow up, books accumulate, toys multiply, trinkets, rooms fill up. Some families give some away, some keep some as a souvenir of you, but there is no place for them. First as decorations on the shelves, then in boxes, then carried in boxes to the box spring under the bed. All of them resist leaving the house under the will of the housewife, but their place is never clarified. Suitcases and bags are always on the move. If you don’t have a small storage room, those suitcases will move around in various places in a three room, one living room house. They go in and out of each other, on chairs, on top of cupboards, up and down again…

But we have an en-suite bathroom!

Yes, many answers can be given to these insolvencies, land cost in metropolises, square meter value, etc. etc. This is exactly why we already say function, not square meter. It’s not just about the third bathroom, the second toilet, the island kitchen, etc., it’s about the smell, the steam, the sheets, the duvet covers, the toys, the suitcases or the shoes that make the house “home”. Functional spaces instead of a series of spaces where houses are forced to be built.

But we have an en-suite bathroom!

What is even stranger is that villas are produced with the same understanding of space in projects where there is no square meter shortage or even rent problem. In houses that have moved from anterooms with two (!) closets to lofty living rooms, you may not even see a spatial provision for a multi-brand bag when you enter the house, let alone a place to put your ski suit.

But we have an en-suite bathroom!

With projects that see a house as a sofa set, we go from room to room with our ironing board in our homes in the taste of “Show Room”. In short, a house cannot be a home without places that provide services. He is not alive. Without the service volumes, laundry rooms, balconies associated with laundry rooms, entrance storerooms, study niches, corridors furnished with books and cupboards that carry the whole crowd, something artificial like a “rose” that has been “smelled” emerges.

Every mathematical definition that we call 1+1, 2+1 or 3+1 or every line you see on a white page has a responsibility. The responsibility of the master bathroom must be very important, as it is present even in the smallest house model, and I am afraid that when it comes to the housing typology of our time, “Master Bathroom” will appear in gold letters.

In short, we meant it when we said that the “Parents’ Bathroom” was our red line!

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