Subway Bathroom Tile: (A)Mazing 3D Floor & Wall Mosaic


Looking for ideas on how to tile a bathroom? No problem: start on the green line then home to the red right where the blue, yellow and purple intersect. Pictures, sketches, drawings and maps – taking these together you can start to see how this artist changed an abstract subway map into a concrete (or rather: glass and ceramic) tiling project covering three walls and the floor of this otherwise unremarkable bathroom.

Rarely do we see bathrooms that engage a design idea with such uncanny three-dimensionality. The grout becomes a grid that shapes the patterns that travel up, down and all around the room, while the pattern is carefully constructed at just the right scale to work with the dimensions of the interior space.

Christoph Niemann started, of course, with a generic map of the New York City subway route system and abstracted it until arriving at a configuration that could be applied in straightforward square tile installation (art). Somewhere between pop art and abstract decor, this tile pattern is custom and unique to the place – but there is nothing to suggest that the savvy do-it-yourself type could not replicate the process in some form to crate a likewise personalized mosaic tile pattern for their own home bathroom interior (for that matter, would these not look neat in, say, the bathroom of the subway stations of NYC?).

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