David Pescovitz at 7:37 am Mon, Aug 20, 2012
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San Francisco architect Andre Rothblatt and contractor Fredic Grasset recently completed this "Steampunk Bathroom" as part of a residential remodel. Beautiful! More at Todd Lappin's Bernalwood: "Bernal Architect Creates Whimsical Steampunk Bathroom"
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.
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There, I wanted to see one of those. The other day when the NYT ran a story about the tiff between Ecuador and 10 Downing over one Julian Assange, it mentioned something about his toilet-flushing habits. I wrote to the article’s author saying, “JA didn’t flush the toilet because Joe Biden had gone and removed the chain.” Wasn’t sure if they’d understood, but it’s kind of humiliating to have to explain a joke…
You know, while I like the look of copper pipe and all, I don’t like the idea of a toilet tank-to-bowl tie-in that has so many bends to fail. There were toilets with elevated tanks that had a single straight pipe down to the bowl as well.
I also like my bathroom to be relatively easy to clean and disinfect. Cleaning all that piping doesn’t fit that description, to me.
Lastly, elevated-tank toilets mean that one can’t just pop the lid and turn off the mechanism in the event of a plug, preventing a bowl overflow, like with a conventional toilet. I know, it’s not supposed to be that common an occurrence, but it’s nice to be able to prevent it.
But this is steampunk! All pipes and valves and gauges in steampunk are purely decorative, even if they look like they’re supposed to be doing something useful.
in which case, they have shown considerable restraint. could have had plenty more gauges and values.
I can just see it now…
Kirk Douglas walks into the captain’s quarters on the Nemo, and finds James Mason sitting there in front of a massive assembly of pipes…
“This is a spectacular pipe organ!”
“This isn’t a pipe organ, this is my bathroom! Please pass the toilet paper…”
Douglas looks down to see that Mason has on no pants, and begins to notice the smell…
I always thought that it was, “may be purely decorative *IF* they look like they’re doing something useful”.
I built a prop for Phoenix Comic Con, an “electric crossbow”. Sure, there’s a lot of copper on it, but I didn’t go crazystupid with the ornamentation. I built it with the idea that if such a thing existed, whoever used it would want it to be as reliable and sturdy as possible, not ornamental to the point of ridiculousness. Just a no-frills device that does what it’s supposed to do.
Funny enough, the caps are real Mallory 28000 microfarad, 25V capacitors, but painted to not be the electric blue that they shipped as. The “bowstring” is copper wire, varnished copper wire for motor windings, and steel wire all wrapped together. The bow is comprised of copper grounds bent to shape, and the point on the end is just a lampshade retaining nut.
they could have gone higher with the tank. it’s quite low by British standards.
I don’t remember the toilet tank in the hotel being all that high up when we visited London a couple-years back. Stayed at the Royal Lancaster, which has been there long enough that it hosted a party for the Beatles for their Yellow Submarine album…
the nineteen 60s? i’ve stayed in a hotel dating from 12 f-ing 60s
while I like the look of copper pipe and all
Isn’t brass nicer? More ‘steampunk’ too, perhaps. Those end-feed soldered joints aren’t particularly interesting either, some chunky compression fittings might be more appropriate.
Resource- and energy-intensive, and hard to clean too. Perfect for cultivating a repeat customer when it’s time to replace the whole works.
> Resource and energy intesivie
How so? Unless you’re calling water pressure “energy intensive”? And I don’t think there’s necessarily any more water being used. I guess you could say there’s extra water in the pipes, but that could be easily compensated with a brick or two in the tank.
And as far as I can tell, the hot water lines are no longer than in a normal sink.
Or do you just mean that at some point they’ll have to wipe a rag over a bit more surface area? Seems to me that that argument could be made against most works of art.
Copper oxidizes easily in the air. So unless the creator has lacquer all the exposed parts it will turn a pretty shade of dull brown. Couple that with any use of ammonia and you’ll end up with bright blue and green all over them.
Besides I think silkox was referring to the amount of pipping involved (the amount doesn’t bother me as much as the joints…for something this ornate I would have expected the pipe to be annealed and bent.)
Does anyone here understand steam punk?
Yes, but I don’t remember Vera Lynn.
Is there any true Scotsman?
A little bit.
I know it’s one word ;)
No, but I speak Jive.
And while I admit that I do now know kung-fu, I am quite proficient as Kuh-REY-ZAY!
This is really beautiful. Hard to clean, but I imagine the owner is one who would rather it be beautiful over functional.
Just shocked SF Department of Building Inspection approved this! Don’t let the neighbors see – they’ll file an appeal with the Board of Supervisors!
There’s a lot of comment on how hard this would be to clean – as if the owner of this bathroom was going to clean it himself.
Assuming those are standard toilet parts (tank and bowl) then I don’t see any plumbing issue with it. You’d just have to have everything pressure tested to pass an inspection. On the up side with all the joints being visible a leak will be easy to find.
Steampunk: Take something simple and make it as convoluted as possible. It’s more for the eyes than for actually working technology.
Art! Who needs it!
What’s with the Home Depot budget mirror? That’s the one piece I would have thought deserved the most attention. So much cool potential missed.
might have thought twice about “insulating” the electrical cables for the lighting inside copper pipe… in a bathroom.
Why? In houses with copper plumbing most of the time the electrical system is grounded to the pipe.
It’s no different than running wire through conduit.
just goes to show how shoddy USA regs are. I guess 110v is just for kids anyway, while the men in Europe can handle 230v
what is with the wallpaper’s pattern being off centre of the wall’s centre??
Well, there goes the feng shui
Steampunk posts always make me think of this web comic http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=266
I always remember this one…
I have a fair number of con badges, and I can attest to the accuracy of this. Even with the tiny 400 attendee cons…
As someone who has lived with exposed plumbing for ten years, that stuff is a bitch to keep looking clean. Too many surfaces!
The whole point of having the tank high above the bowl is to get the water to flow into the bowl with some speed. The labyrinth pipe sorta defeats the purpose, which is very steampunk.
Realtors in NYC will be adding this to their repertoire of euphemisms. “Don’t think of it as exposed plumbing circa 1932. Think of it as whimsical steampunk fixtures!”
Looks like somewhere Hollis Henry would stay.
My first thought, Is that the toilet in Zero History?
I misread the link text as “BANAL Architect Creates Whimsical Steampunk Bathroom,” and was thinking, Oh, good for him for trying something new.
Or: how to waste copper and make something really tacky.
Jesus folks, Victorian plumbers wouldn’t make something stupid and useless like this. That’s what makes old fashioned stuff cool, is that it is well made. UGH!
at first I said “ooh” because i like shiny bendy pipes but then i said “that’s stupid”
The marble sink top and white tank & toilet cover doesn’t work with the rest of it.
Don’t worry… If the maintenance is lax, they won’t stay white for very long…
I swear this is all I can think of when I see that bathroom.
At first I thought the article was ”Banal Architect Creates Whimsical Steampunk Bathroom”, and I thought, Wow, that is news.
You’d get a more manly flush if you straightened out all the bendies.
Wouldn’t all the kinks in the toilet pipe tend to reduce the water pressure of the flush?
I for one wouldn’t call this solution elegant:
1. tasteful in dress, style, or design
2. dignified and graceful in appearance, behaviour, etc
3. cleverly simple; ingenious: an elegant solution to a problem
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009