Australian industrial designer Marc Newson has builted a public toilet topped with a copper roof located under an elevated highway north of Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. The structure was realized as part of the Tokyo Toilet project, which has featured toilets by architects such as Tadao Ando, Fumihiko Maki, and Shigeru Ban.
Made of concrete, Newson’s simple structure was designed to be highly functional, with men’s and women’s bathrooms located on either side and a central bathroom for people with disabilities.
Newson was inspired by traditional Japanese temples and teahouses to make the structure feel familiar. “Central to my design is the reference to vernacular Japanese architecture, including the copper Minoko roof,” he said. “Often found in shrines, temples and tearooms and in rural areas, I wanted the roof form to trigger a subconscious feeling of comfort and peacefulness amid its busy, hypermodern location. The patina on the copper pyramidic roof will integrate the structure into the city over time, so it becomes part of the fabric of Tokyo.”
“It is important to me that the Toilet feels trustworthy and honest inside and out: the bright interior is seamlessly and hygienically finished in a monochromatic green, one of my favourite colours,” he continues. “My design for the Toilet focusses on functionality, simplicity, and creating an inviting and enduring space. I hope the Toilet will become something not only magical but incredibly useful to find in Shibuya, like the many hidden gems within the city.”
The toilet is the 14th to be completed as part of the Tokyo Toilet project, which is run by the non-profit Nippon Foundation.