Urasando Public Toilet, THE TOKYO TOILETView text
Organised by The Nippon Foundation on the occasion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, THE TOKYO TOILET project engaged 16 designers and architects to design 17 public toilets across the Shibuya ward of Tokyo. Marc was the only designer not based in Japan who participated, and each was given the brief to create a fully accessible public toilet.
The site for the Urasando toilet is beneath an overpass and flanked by two roads. Amid the busy location, Marc wanted the structure to trigger subconscious feelings of comfort, familiarity and peacefulness, and for it to become a useful and welcoming amenity for locals and tourists alike.
His design recalls vernacular Japanese architecture and craft, such as the stone wall and the copper Minoko roof which is often found in shrines, temples and tearooms in rural areas. The main body of the structure is concrete: a material used in a more noble and refined way in Japan than in other countries. The aging of these concrete walls, along with the patina of the copper roof, will integrate the structure with its environment over time as it becomes an established public utility.
The interior is a seamless pale blue-green, featuring three different zones- men’s, women’s, and a multifunctional space, which were outfitted by TOTO and are rigorously maintained by THE TOKYO TOILET team. Compared to the traditional exterior, the luminescent interior appears akin to a spaceship, designed to feel bright and safe. The materials selected for the interior are hardwearing and easy to clean.
The Urasando public toilet is located at 4-28-1 Sendagaya.
The Nippon Foundation