Ah, the bathroom. That crude reminder that humans are but savage animals with putrid, squalid needs. Polite society likes to pretend that it doesn't exist — that fluffy toilet lids and endless varieties of magnolia-scented air freshener can will our filth away. Here to take our collective shame to whole new levels of self-denial is Rapsel, an Italian company, which designs toilet fixtures that magically disappear.
Rapsel's One line includes a sink, shower, and toilet disguised behind sleek wooden slats. Step into the bathroom, and the slats resemble shelves and benches in a swanky little sauna. It's only when you lift them up that their true function is revealed. "The new 'invisible' bathroom, designed by Matteo Thun for RAPSEL, impresses with few lines and innovative forms," the press release effuses. "[They] become geometric modules that function as sculptural shelves."
The loo as sculpture, eh? Not a new idea, of course, but with One, Rapsel has certainly put it to fresh use. And we like that the slats actually do something besides cloak porcelain — in the case of the toilet, they partially double as a drawer.
The problem — and the reason this gets our "Almost Genius" designation — is that toilets and sinks need to be visible for very obvious reasons. Say you're a guest at someone's house, and you walk into the bathroom clueless that you're supposed to pop up the slats. An awkward moment inevitably ensues when you have to sheepishly ask your host where the toilet seat is — which defeats the point of a discreet bathroom in the first place. Worse still is the guest who doesn't bother asking at all: We'd hate to think she might mistake the sink for the toilet.
[Images courtesy of Rapsel]