Located between the elevated Metropolitan Expressway and the National Stadium subway station in Tokyo‘s Sendagaya, this public toilet by local practice Suppose Design Office is shaped like a floating concrete cube. Reconsidering the impression, function, and usage of the conventional ‘public toilet’, Suppose Design Office has developed the project as an urban work of art.
The interior walls of the 7.5 m high cube are finished with a texture of washed concrete, and the soft light coming through the slits in the roof draws the light into the interior in an impressive way. It is a space where one can appreciate the “changes of seasons and time woven by nature,” which are outside of our daily awareness, without intending to do so by changing the light.
By floating the walls, Suppose Design Office was able to create a good connection between the interior of the building and the city, as well as a transparency that allows users to feel the presence of people, and they were able to get rid of the corridors and dead ends that lead to a sense of stagnation and uneasiness in public restrooms.
The specifications that contradict the conventional perception of public toilets, such as the Akoya wood paneling, the hotel-like appearance of the brass signage, and the washbasin placed in the center so that men and women can share, were planned with an emphasis on rationality and diversity. By creating a space that is flat, easy to use, and of high quality for everyone, the design team hopes to change the consciousness of the users, and that they themselves will participate in maintaining a comfortable environment, leading to a healthy cycle.