London, Oct 2 : Keeping small flats in mind, a Brit designer has developed the world's first fold-away bathroom.
The 9,000 pounds device, which features two showers and a lavatory, is the work of award-winning designer Paul Hernon, of Huddersfield. The space-saving Vertebrae - named after the human spine - stacks a sink, water cistern and shower-head into one 8ft steel column.
"I did lots of research and it became obvious to me that bathroom space was decreasing, particularly in apartments," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"I have created an intriguing but functional and simplistic space-saving bathroom by stacking the contents of a bathroom on top of one another. It is designed to utilise vertical space instead of horizontal floor space. It is quick to assemble and easy to maintain - all you need is a wet room to put it in.
"I think it pushes the boundaries of anything that has been done before. People who have seen it are completely blown away," he added.
The two showers, one for adults and one for kids, both rotate 180 degrees while the other units all rotate a full 360 degrees.
They all twist around a steel column, which contains all the piping, and each part simply pushes out when it is required.
The 38-year-old designer said that his creation could fit into a smaller space than a traditional bathroom, meaning architects could design smaller bathrooms and free up more space for other rooms.
However, he cautioned that the Vertebrae weighs 150 kilos, or more than 23 stone, and that householders might have to reinforce their bathroom floor before having it fitted.
The fold-away bathroom is expected to go on sale in 2009.