In Japan, TOTO’s Gallery MA program takes its name from the unique Japanese concept of “Ma,” which expresses the delicate balance that exists amongst people, time and space. In the United States TOTO Galleries have taken this concept and given it a uniquely American inflection: TOTO’s Corporate Galleries, like the new one in Boston’s North End, serve as an educational resource for the architecture and design communities where they and their clients may come to learn about TOTO’s innovative high-design Eco Luxury plumbing products.
“Our TOTO Galleries, like the new one in Boston, are destination spaces,” says Lenora Campos, a TOTO spokesperson, “that provide design professionals and homeowners alike with beautiful modern environments designed to stimulate the exchange of ideas and information with highly-qualified TOTO associates, with whom they meet one-on-one to discuss their particular project’s needs and ways in which TOTO may partner with them in the design of beautiful, water efficient bath spaces.”
To design its fifth TOTO gallery in Boston’s North End, the company partnered with Bergmeyer Associates architects. Located in a classic building of brick and wood, Bergmeyer preserved as much of the existing structure as possible, a sustainable design strategy that expresses TOTO’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The existing brick walls and wood ceiling were exposed, and the hard wood floor maintained, which infused a New England sensibility into the background of the 5,258-square-foot space.
To make the design distinctly TOTO, a minimalist design language was adopted to best highlight the company’s innovative products and showcase their appealing aesthetic qualities. A palette of neutrals and whites, along with simple, modern detailing, imparts a calming atmosphere, which reflects TOTO’s belief that a bath space is a sanctuary of serenity. “The overall effect” said Campos, “is a space that looks and feels like an art gallery, encouraging visitors to linger and enjoy the different product displays, many of which are plumbed to further provide experiential opportunities.”
In 2009, TOTO scheduled more than 62 special events at its five Galleries, which will include: the TOTO Thought Leader Colloquia, a panel discussion series that convenes leading thinkers in the fields of ecology, innovation and design, among others; Product Knowledge Seminars; Product Launch Events and Design Exhibitions; Chapter Meetings; and Roundtable discussions with AIA, ASID, NEWH, USGBC, NARI, IFDA.
TOTO’s Boston Gallery -- like its other four located in the design districts of New York, N.Y.; West Hollywood, Calif.; Chicago; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- are viewing galleries. TOTO does not sell from these spaces. To purchase its products, TOTO staff directs architects, designers and consumers to its local partners, wholesalers and kitchen & bath dealers serving the Boston area.
Located at 123 North Washington Street, in Boston’s North End, the TOTO Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Architects, designers and consumers wishing to schedule an appointment to visit the Gallery may call 617/227-1321. Walk-in traffic is welcomed.