bathrooms

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Design

Transparent Public Restrooms in Tokyo Transform into Opaque, Colorful Stalls When in Use

August 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

Haru-No-Ogawa Community Park, by Shigeru Ban. Photos by Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of The Nippon Foundation

On the periphery of a busy city park in Tokyo is a transparent bathroom that offers a few forms of alleviation. Although it seemingly provides little privacy, the translucent facade is designed to let people peer inside to inspect the cleanliness before they venture in. Once users do open the door and step into the structure, the walls turn into opaque, illuminated stalls that hide the person from view. As public bathrooms have shut down and been a source of fear since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the new structure ameliorates multiple issues of accessibility.

The sensitive facility is part of an ongoing project called The Tokyo Toilet, which tasked 16 designers—including Kengo Kuma (previously), Tadao Ando (previously), and Shigeru Ban, who created the two transparent structures—with conceptualizing the public facilities throughout Shibuya. Five of the 17 locations are currently operational, with most of the remaining scheduled for 2021. The result is a diverse series of public facilities designed to be more accessible and attractive to those who need them.

To calm any further worries about cleanliness, The Tokyo Toilet also has extensive plans for maintenance. The Nippon Foundation, the Shibuya City Government, and the Shibuya Tourism Association will work collaboratively to ensure the spaces don’t live up their “dark, dirty, smelly, and scary” reputation, a project coordinator tells Fast Company.

Check out some of the open facilities below, and take a deeper look into the unique designs and their locations on the project’s site. You also might want to take a look at GreenPee’s hemp urinals that were installed recently around Amsterdam.

 

Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park, by Shigeru Ban

Ebisu Park, by Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall

Ebisu Park, by Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall

Higashi Sanchome, by Nao Tamura

Ebisu East Park, by Fumihiko Mak

 

 



Art

"My Wife Hates it When I Work From Home" — Banksy Shares Rats Run Amok in his Bathroom from Quarantine

April 15, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Presumably quarantined like the rest of humanity, Banksy just posted a few images of an artwork executed in his supposed home bathroom. The installation depicts a mischievous pack of his signature rats destroying everything in sight: swinging from towel racks, running on toilet paper, marking the days of quarantine on the wall, and making a disgusting mess of the toilet. The caption accompanying the work on Instagram reads simply, “My wife hates it when I work from home.”

 

 



Design

Public Restroom: A Bathroom Reimagined as a Town Square Using Custom-Printed Tiles

March 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Lithuanian design studio Gyva Grafika has given a second life to a restroom by reinterpreting its tiled walls as building facades. Each tile features a unique view of a generic rectangular window, offering glimpses into the nuanced lives of individuals. Some windows are closed to the viewer with lace curtains; in others, a person or a houseplant peeks out. The creators share that the photos are from the neighborhood where the bathroom is located. They first made stickers to apply to the tiles, and then experimented with printing the photos directly on the tiles. You can find more projects by Gyva Grafika on Behance and their website. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Design

Japanese-Designed Public Restrooms in the Shape of Fish, Crabs, Tree Stumps

February 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Flickr user and photographer Okinawa Soba (Rob) has been documenting the obscure designs of public restroom facilities on the Japanese island of Okinawa for the last six years. Rob has lived on the island, which is home to 1.3 million residents, for nearly 43 years, and has had the chance to explore some of the stranger bathrooms the prefecture has to offer. Included in this group is a koi-shaped bathroom which asks guests to enter through the mouth, a sliced orange, a stubby trunk with windows that have replaced its missing branches, and a robotic crab. You can see more of Rob’s unique Japanese finds (including these Okinawa manhole covers) on his photostream. (via Web Urbanist)

 

 



Design

A Bathroom Situated Atop a 15-Story Elevator Shaft

April 27, 2012

Christopher Jobson

While not particularly the fine art you might be accustomed to on Colossal, it was impossible to pass this up. Guadalajara-based architects Hernandez Silva Arquitectos recently designed the interior of a new penthouse situated on top of a 1970s Mexican colonial building in Guadalajara, México. A notable feature of the home is a powder room situated atop an unused 15-story elevator shaft. Via Hernandez Silva Arquitectos:

A characteristic feature of the project is that a volume that was originally intended for a second elevator and was never installed becomes a powder room with a glass floor that looks down all the 15 levels, the PPDG penthouse is a great versatile modulated space, with great views all this with the concepts of transparency and the simplicity of materials.

What a fantastic if not completely terrifying idea. See much more of the residence on Home DSGN. (via neatorama)

Update: If this makes you queasy or uncomfortable, I urge you not to read about Skywalking.

 

 



Design

Break Soap

March 31, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Break soap is a concept by Dave Hakkens that involves a large block of soap with removable “self-serve” wedges that can be snapped off for individual use without having to touching a bar that’s been handled by somebody else. More hygienic see? If only Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good as It Gets had access to this brilliant invention. (via design crush)