The Nippon Foundation, an NGO based in Japan initiated ‘The Tokyo Toilet’ project with an aim to redesign public toilets in 17 locations across Shibuya, one of the busiest districts of Tokyo. 5 of these restrooms opened for general public earlier this month, while the rest will open in the upcoming months.
The urban architecture project is a collaborative effort of 16 famous architects and creators from across the world; Tadao Ando, Toyo Ito, Tomohito Ushiro, Masamichi Katayama, Kengo Kuma, Junko Kobayashi, Takenosuke Sakakura, Kashiwa Sato, Kazoo Sato, Nao Tamura, NIGO, Marc Newson, Shigeru Ban, Sou Fujimoto, Miles Pennington and Fumihiko Maki.
Two of such public restrooms, which have caught everyone’s attention are situated at Yoyogi Fukmachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park. Designed and created by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban, the toilets are made of transparent glass walls.
Yes, in transparent glass. But here is the fun fact, the glass, tinted in yellow, orange, purple, blue, green and aqua blue, turn opaque when a user locks the washroom from inside. This transparent feature allows people to examine what they are getting into, quite literally.
Both the restrooms are divided into three sections; men, women and multipurpose. The multipurpose division is equipped with ostomate facilities.
At night, the restrooms light up and appear like colourful lanterns in the middle of the park. Thus, making the area safer and more aesthetic.
The toilets have been constructed by Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd, while Toto Ltd advised 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.