Whether you are a tourist or you are living in a big city, you can never appreciate the presence and quality of the public washrooms while visiting the public places. Although the public toilets draw most of the crowds for their utilitarian purpose, many innovatively designed public washrooms attract crowds because of their unusual forms or diverse construction materials.  Here is a list of 20 such public washrooms that stand out as a work of art sometimes by showcasing the cultural or traditional values of the venues and communities around or sometimes for their innovative environmental appeal.

1. Lobster loos, Wellington, New Zealand

To create an unusual sculptural, iconic, and highly visible toilet structure to attract the tourists to the city’s windswept waterfront, these two-tentacle shaped public lavatories were designed in orange steel with an expense of NZ$375,000 by architect Bret Thurston.

Lobster loos, Wellington, New Zealand - Sheet1
Lobster loos ©www.shutterstock.com
Lobster loos, Wellington, New Zealand - Sheet2
Lobster loos ©www.pinterest.com

2. Gramazio & Kohler Public Toilets at Uster, Switzerland

This toilet was developed in 2011. The parametrically designed façade consists of aluminum strips, which are adaptable to its surroundings to various sizes and shapes. The combination of strips also produces a shimmering effect depending on the position of the sun as well as the observer.

Gramazio & Kohler Public Toilets at Uster, Switzerland
Gramazio & Kohler public toilet ©www.archdaily.com

3. Gdansk public toilet at Gdansk, Poland 

While preparing to host the 2012 UEFA European Championship at Gdansk, these public toilets were developed as a vibrant addition to the city. Following the form of a raindrop, these structures were formed as cylindrical with surrounding vertical steel ribs which can be used as bike racks as well.

Gdansk public toilet at Gdansk, Poland  - Sheet1
Gdansk public toilet ©www.designcurial.com
Gdansk public toilet at Gdansk, Poland  - Sheet2
Gdansk public toilet ©www.designcurial.com

4. Trail Restroom | Austin, Texas

This public restroom was designed as a sculptural addition to the park consisting of 49 vertical Corten steel plates of variable heights and widths, arranged along a coiling spine. The staggering arrangement of these vertical members allows fresh air in the toilet interior.

Trail Restroom | Austin, Texas - Sheet1
Trail restroom ©www.archdaily.com
Trail Restroom | Austin, Texas - Sheet2
Trail restroom ©www.designcurial.com
Trail Restroom | Austin, Texas - Sheet3
Trail restroom ©www.designcurial.com

5. Gort Scott’s Wembley WCs at London, UK

This toilet is located at the center of a pedestrianized area in Wembley, London. The glamorous gold perforated metal façade is 5 m tall and is solid till head height but perforated over that for natural light and ventilation. The structure also becomes more attractive at night with the glowing lantern effect of the water cut perforated screen.

Gort Scott’s Wembley WCs at London, UK - Sheet1
Gort Scott’s Wembley WC © www.archdaily.com
Gort Scott’s Wembley WCs at London, UK - Sheet2
Gort Scott’s Wembley WC © www.designcurial.com

6. UriLift International BV – Retractable Urinals

Across Europe, around 100 pop up toilets have been installed. These toilets disappear during the day and come above ground at the social night time hours.

UriLift International BV - Retractable Urinals
UriLift International BV ©www.archdaily.com

7. Transparent Toilets at Lausanne, Switzerland

This toilet is located in Switzerland and is designed with an LCD privacy glass that turns opaque when the door is locked. The technology involved here is to allow electricity through the glass to make the appearance transparent and block the charge when the glass is opaque. If someone doesn’t move for 10 minutes then the door will open automatically as a safety measure to identify if someone falls unconscious inside.

Transparent Toilets at Lausanne, Switzerland - Sheet1
Transparent toilet ©www.designcurial.com
Transparent Toilets at Lausanne, Switzerland - Sheet2
Transparent toilet ©www.archdaily.com

8. Origami shaped toilets at Hiroshima Park, Japan

There are 17 nos. of origami shaped toilets coated with glossy paint for easy maintenance and have circles cutouts in the concrete exterior walls for air circulation.

Origami shaped toilets at Hiroshima Park, Japan
Origami Shaped toilet ©www.blog.cheapism.com

9. Public lavatories, Matakana, New Zealand

This sculptural toilet took seven years and NZ$400,000 to complete. The form resembles a boat hull and is derived from the local boat building heritage. 

Public lavatories, Matakana, New Zealand
Public lavatories ©www.lonelyplanet.com

10. Waterfall washroom, Taroko National Park, Taiwan

This toilet is at the way of a waterfall that belongs to the seven tunnels and numerous curtain style cascades along a 2 km trail of Baiyang Waterfall in Taroko National Park.

Waterfall washroom, Taroko National Park, Taiwan
Waterfall washroom ©www.lonelyplanet.com
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Sudeshna Sarkar
Author

Sudeshna is a practicing architect and urban designer who believes in collaborative approach for designing successful spaces. She is passionate about finding innovative and sustainable solutions to urban issues. Her avidity to design and enormous interest in research work has motivated her in voicing architecture and design through writing as well.

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