I was very impressed with the access I found on my first trip to New Zealand; so it comes as no great surprise that I’m even more wowed on my second visit. It’s just my first day here, but after a very long shower to wash away the jet lag, I’m once again bowled over by the sensibility in Kiwi accessible design.
The place? The Amora Hotel on Wakefield Street, just across the street from the Convention Center. The issue at hand is the roll-in shower in accessible guest room 511. Let’s be honest here about roll-in showers — at least the ones stateside — many are poorly designed. And as happy as you are to see one in the wheelchair-accessible room you booked, we all know that flooding — sometimes substantial flooding — can be a problem. To honest the first thing I do when I have a room with a roll-in shower in the states is to construct a towel dam around the perimeter, to minimize flooding. I’m sure I’m not alone — it’s standard procedure.
But my roll-in shower in the Amora Hotel is designed like those on many ships — ships that are designed by European engineers, might I add. It’s a Continental style shower, with no obstructions on the floor, and with a simple curtain hung from the ceiling. There’s no shower enclosure, so the whole shower area can easily be used as a turn-around space when not in use.
And here’s the brilliant part — the shower drain is not located in the center of the shower, but along the entire perimeter. And just in case that’s not enough, there’s another drain strip near the bathroom door. But I have to tell you, the strips surrounding the shower are more than adequate, as I splashed around like a little duck this morning, and everything on the other side of the drains remained dry as a bone.
Kiwi sensibility — I love it. It’s access that makes sense, and I’m looking for to seeing more of it in the next two weeks!