Restrooms for Everyone

Community, Program
Nicole Germano, Senior Interior Designer; Lauren Takeda, Senior Architect
For YouTube Office 2, JENSEN worked within an existing building core to create all-gender restrooms that prioritize inclusivity. The solution provides a suite of varied bathroom spaces welcoming to people of all orientations and abilities.

We began, as many office projects do, in a multilevel 1980s building with conventionally gendered restrooms at the core. Our client, YouTube/Google, prioritizes inclusivity in their culture and built environment. Google already had built a few all-gender restroom prototypes to learn from, and their most referenced example in a new ground-up building provided some helpful lessons. Our challenge, however, was to build inclusive restrooms within the constrained existing core footprint.

We started by creating several room types to provide a diversity of choice for all genders and mobility needs. Single-user toilet rooms and shower rooms, each with full-height walls and actual doors for privacy and comfort, made up a full suite of options. Shared sinks helped with the efficient use of space. Eliminating the entry doors made ingress and egress more seamless, with less surprise as people adjusted to the new restroom concept.


We also heard that, for some users, a private sink was really important. Examples include people who use reusable sanitary products and some Muslim users who want to quickly wash up in private before prayer. At the same time, others simply weren’t comfortable being with another gender in the restrooms. We accommodated all of these concerns by introducing a single, accessible toilet room and lavatory positioned at the restroom entry so users could opt out of the all-gender experience, and adding sinks to at least one other toilet stall. 

Restroom Plan Fl 2
YouTube Restroom 5

Restroom finishes create a full experience consistent with the overall design concept, which explores motion through color and super graphics. Each of the four floors is distinguished by a unique colorway deployed in varying compositions and accent graphics. Walls and ceilings channel ice cream dream worlds, while individual rooms are accessorized with fun lighting, oversized door pegs, tampon/pad baskets with in-wall disposal, and rounded mirrors; people feel more comfortable doing a mirror check in private. 


YouTube Restroom 2

JENSEN developed the signage and wayfinding and created a clear, positive message for the building. The restroom signage makes no reference to gender. Instead, icons identify fixture types within each room and emphasize function – making it easy for people to choose the one that suits them best.

POSK-4-Restroom Signage v5
YouTube Restroom 3