Bathroom & Toilets – “There are two concerns with public toilets, especially those located in parks. The first is whether it is clean inside, and the second is that no one is secretly waiting inside.” Says Shigeru Ban who has recently completed two transparent public toilets in the Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park in Shibuya, Tokyo.
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The Pritzker Prize laureate used the latest glass technology, colored transparent walls turn opaque when a guest walks in. When not engaged, the see-through loos allow users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside. At night, they light up the park like a beautiful lantern.
The the facilities are part of THE TOKYO TOILET project by The Nippon Foundation which “has decided to renovate 17 public toilets located in Shibuya, Tokyo, in cooperation with the Shibuya City government, as a way of moving toward the realization of a society that embraces diversity.” Indeed, even in Japan, perhaps the cleanest country in the world, “the use of public toilets is limited because of stereotypes that they are dark, dirty, smelly, and scary.”
To dispel these misconceptions regarding public toilets, The Nippon Foundation has involved 16 leading creators including Pritzker Prize winners Shigeru Ban and Tadao Ando as well as Masamichi Katayama, Sou Fujimoto, Fumihiko Maki and more. The architects will use advanced design to make them accessible for everyone regardless of gender, age, or disability, to demonstrate the possibilities of an inclusive society.
The toilets will be constructed by DAIWA HOUSE INDUSTRY CO., LTD., and TOTO LTD. will advise on toilet equipment and layout. Maintenance of the toilets will be carried out under a three-party agreement concluded by The Nippon Foundation, the Shibuya City government, and the Shibuya City Tourism Association.
All photos by Satoshi Nagare, courtesy of The Nippon Foundation.
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