1st Floor

April 25, 2012

Most people that go to UW actu­ally have no idea where Winken­werder Hall is. I don’t really blame these people because it’s liter­ally surrounded by trees, and since the build­ing’s primary struc­ture is wood and glass, it blends in with its surround­ings. No doubt that’s what the archi­tect had in mind. It’s the forest sciences build­ing after all. I’m taking a ton of ESRM classes this quar­ter so I happen to be spend­ing a lot of time in that build­ing. Need­less to say, plenty of oppor­tu­ni­ties have arisen where I need to use the bath­room before/­dur­ing/after a class.

One of the biggest prob­lems about Winken­werder is that there’s only one pair of bath­rooms in the entire build­ing. That’s not saying much, consid­er­ing the build­ing is only three floors, but the base­ment floor is all stor­age space. Most offices and class­rooms are on the other floors, which means walk­ing down two flights of stairs both ways just to go pee for 15 seconds. That’s some bad plan­ning by the archi­tects right there.

Like I said earlier, Winken­werder is mostly made out of wood, glass, and stone. A lot of the walls and ceil­ing struc­tures are just plain glass for the most part. This gives the whole build­ing a really open, bright (as Seat­tle permits) feel to the entire place. It’s clearly trying to scrape up some LEED certi­fi­ca­tion points. What­ever points managed to get were prob­a­bly all lost when the LEED coun­cil looked at the sorry-ass bath­rooms in the place. It looks like the dungeon where all the envi­ron­men­tal science profes­sors lock up the kids they caught throw­ing some­thing recy­clable into the wrong garbage can or some shit. It’s all cinder block walls and concrete floors and a dim compact fluo­res­cent light­bulb so it looks like all the rooms in the insane asylum that Halle Berry was locked up in in the movie Gothika. The whole thing is just too damn depress­ing. How can you pinch one out in such dreary conditions?

Not only that, there’s only two urinals and one stall for the entire build­ing. Imag­ine the traf­fic that gets built up in there a couple hours after lunch time. The line’s bad enough after my 2-hour lecture, man. That’s just inef­fi­cient planning, man.

When I used it today right after my lecture, though, there wasn’t a wait at all. That’s pretty impres­sive consid­er­ing I just got done with a lecture with about 50 people. The only other guy in there was a profes­sor taking a shit. He was caus­ing quite a ruckus in that stall. It was the loud­est I’d ever heard some­one prepare them­selves for poop­ing. His bag kept hitting the door for what­ever reason, he was cough­ing and making other bodily noises of vari­ous frequen­cies, he was rustling the life out of the toilet seat paper cover thing, and after he was done he let out an impres­sive shart that might have dimmed the CFL bulb a little bit due to its inten­si­ty. The best part about all this was his goofy-ass straw hat poking above the wall. You could tell by the hat that this was an old guy, and old guys are funny because of the amount of fucks they don’t give about pretty much anything. He was prob­a­bly impressed about what he just did, and you defi­nitely knew he did some impact assess­ment before he flushed. As funny as imag­in­ing all of this was, I was reminded of the harsh real­ity of using the public restroom when I had to wash my hands in the sink that was built freak­ing right next to the stall so I had to get a whiff of this old dude’s shit. That was the thing that pissed me off the most about the entire bath­room. Put the sinks some­where further away so you can avoid all that shit.

Winken­werder’s bath­room sucks for a myriad of reasons. It’s small, dim, window­less cavern of a room that expe­ri­ences a high traf­fic rate, and is even more depress­ing when contrasted to the rest of the build­ing, which is actu­ally pretty cool. It’s also the only bath­room that I know of in the entire build­ing after exten­sive search­ing for alter­na­tives. In my opin­ion, the Winken­werder bath­room should be avoided as much as possi­ble except for those urgent times right after a lecture. Even this early on into the game, it’s evident that there are much better alternatives.



Engineering Library
Ethnic Cultural Center
Fisheries Teaching & Research Center
Fishery Sciences
Hec Edmundson Pavilion
Physics/Astronomy Auditorium
UW Bathrooms
Ambient Sounds: Off