It seems that public toilets or rest rooms are getting a spruce up – at least overseas.
New York’s public parks department are set on keeping their green park areas sustainable, so you won’t be surprised to see two shipping containers being turned into restrooms in Bush Terminal.
This 1200 square feet building will also have a green roof, which helps it blend into its surroundings and also acts as a cooling device.
The building won’t just house the public restrooms, but also administrative offices and equipment storage.
The House of Toilet
On the isolated island of Ibuki-shima, in Japan, architects have designed the ultimate public toilets: the House of Toilet. The designers were Daigo Ishii and Futurescape. Their concept is a series of rooms separated by slits or gaps between each of the buildings. These follow a clever scientific pattern pointing to a major city on every continent (apart from Antarctica). This is to symbolise a connection between the island and the rest of the world.
And the island’s connection to the wider cosmos is marked because these gaps also mark the location of the sun at 9 o’clock in the morning on the day of three traditional ceremonies; the summer and winter solstices haven’t been forgotten either – the light has been carefully calculated so that the light enters the building.
Built from burnt black cedar the House of Toilet reflects the surrounding residential buildings. If only all public rest rooms could be as fine.
The world’s top ten
Neither of these public facilities has made the world’s top ten – yet. But toilets in Wembley, London made it to number six.
The exterior is made from shimmering golden aluminium which glows in the sun and looks as though it’s lit from inside at night. Rain water is collected in a tank and the interior is faced with white ceramic tiles and rows of pristine ceramic urinals and toilets.
Causing a stir in Texas
In the Downtown Square in Sulphur Springs, Texas, a pair of toilets stand like mirrored cubes. Once inside you realise they are one-way glass, so you can look out and see everything that’s going on. A little unnerving, but fortunately passers-by can’t see in. This clever effect works due to an imbalance of light, meaning that the light outside must be brighter than that inside. Okay during the day …and LED lights around the outside ensure this is still the case at night too.
So many toilets
Famous for the largest public toilets in the world are the rest rooms at Chongqing in China. The site has around 1,000 toilets spread over four floors and covering around 32,000 square feet.
It’s not just the size that makes them a talking point though. Urinals here come in the form of colourful characters like dragon’s mouths and females who look suspiciously like nuns!
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