10 Architecturally Stunning Public Bathrooms

bathroom

Photo: John Gollings

It happens, so everybody needs to visit them once in a while.For many of us in Europe and the US, there is nothing public about these amenities, and they have become a sort of a grey zone in building design.

In a massive effort to make them inconspicuous, they have been standardized, buried in underground bunkers, and hidden behind blind walls.

At times, public toilets have been so outlawed in our minds that in certain spots in the world, embarrassment with their mere existence seems to have led to the inability to provide sound sanitation. Or could it be the other way around–has avoiding them resulted from intolerable hygiene conditions?

People around the globe and throughout history have developed their unique perception, level of open-mindedness, fair share of humour and own terminology for public lavatories.

Whether it’s the “restroom,” the ‘loo,” the “WC,” or the “house number 00,” it is a fact worth noting that these small public amenities are a challenging opportunity for inspiring design. 

Openbuildings.com has compiled a list of public bathrooms that make using them a little more pleasant.

#1 RURAL STUDIO: Perry Lakes Park Bathrooms

At Perry Lakes Park, Alabama, the students in Rural Studio designed three unique public restrooms.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#2 BKK ARCHITECTS: Calder Woodburn Rest Area

An iconic rural restroom along The Goulburn Valley Highway, Australia.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#3 DNA STUDIO: Zhejiang Public Toilet

Located in Jinhua Architecture Park, China, the minimal concrete volumes allow ventilation and sunlight into the bathrooms.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#4 SAUNDERS ARCHITECTURE: Aurland WC

A 50m2 WC building for the Aurland Lookout in Norway.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#5 X-URBAN ASSOCIATES: Public Toilet in Shenzen

A public toilet in Shenzhen, China that harmonizes beautifully with its green surroundings.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#6 SHUICHIRO YOSHIDA: Tokinokura Lavatories Shimodate

This 8.62 square meter project provides a contest-aware rest point in an area of historical buildings.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#7 MIRO RIVERA ARCHITECTS: Trail Restroom

Located along the north shore of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, the building is an assemblage of 49 Corten steel plates arrayed in a coil-like shape.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#8 NRAP ARCHITECTS/ PLASTIK ARCHITECTS: Gravesend Public Toilet

This UK example lies along a new public footpath linking the heart of Gravesend to a public parkland.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#9 HASLØV & KJAESGAARD ARKITEKTFIRMA: Amager Strandpark Bunkers

The comfort stations are in Amager Strandpark in Cöpenhagen, Denmark.

Taken from OpenBuildings

#10 SHUHEI ENDO: Halftecture O

Public restrooms in Osaka, Japan sheltered under a single flat steel sheet.

Taken from OpenBuildings

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