Studio Luz Architecture and Urban Design

University Gender
Inclusive Restrooms

Boston, MA

Walkthrough Assessment and Report
413 Restrooms, 54 Buildings
Completion: 2023

Project Overview

Striving to create an inclusive environment, Northeastern University engaged Studio Luz Architects for design services to support future planning initiatives related to campus-wide all-gender restrooms. Studio Luz assessed and provided an in-depth report and design guidelines to support Northeastern’s planning effort.

Project Team

Hansy Better Barraza
Anthony J. Piermarini
Elise Zilius
Ignacio Lopez


Northeastern University

Code Consultant

Fitzemeyer & Tocci

Institutional Knowledge

Logging Resources to Aid Future Progress

Studio Luz Architects helped create a robust log of resources and their conditions on campus, creating a roadmap for urgent and future spatial adaptations. Creating a robust spatial data resources is an important step for institutional awareness and project management for a university of this scale, and starting point for productive change.

toward an Equitable Campus

Intentional Facilities for change

With a vision for campus-wide inclusivity, inclusionary practices should be implemented to ensure a comfortable environment for all. Developing an inclusive public realm can be a great first step, ensuring spaces reflect the ideals of the university, accessibility, gender-inclusivity, and user comfort. Studio Luz helped jumpstart this effort, advising Northeastern on best practices to improve their public spaces, starting with their restrooms.

Intersectional Design

Accessibility for All

Accessibility should be prioritized for all-gender restrooms in order to create a space that is truly inclusive. Studio Luz advised that careful attention to the locations of gender inclusive restrooms across campus can also help improve accessibility for users campus-wide during the conversion to all-gender restrooms. Additionally, investing in facilities, such as caregiving rooms and religious support facilities, can create a network of inclusive spaces throughout campus.

About the Assessment

At Northeastern University

This study provided a high-level understanding of the overall condition, accessibility status, and gender-inclusivity of the existing public restrooms and to identify gaps within the campus to help develop prioritization of projects on the path to campus-wide gender-inclusive restrooms. The scope of this study included a total of 413 public restrooms across the Boston Campus, covering a total of 54 buildings, including academic/administrative buildings, athletic recreational facilities, and residence halls owned or leased by Northeastern University.

Our team was excited to advise Northeastern in solving such a pertinent issue through mapping and design guidance at a range of scales. Equipped with this thorough study, the school may now make informed investments towards inclusionary spaces that benefit all members of their community.