N.Y. Public Toilet 1993

international competition Urban Out House: awarded

Unit with minimum necessary items

This toilet is composed of a commode, washbowl, walls, floor, ceiling and other incidental equipment, the minimum amount of necessities for a public toilet. This is the most simple, straightforward structure with no unnecessary items. The idea behind this design is that the simplest structure will harmonize with this city. Each unit is made of panels and is easy to assemble and construct.
The panels can be used as advertisement boards as well.

Visible inside when unoccupied

In this structure, the concept of visibility is regarded as important. The walls are made of two glass panes holding liquid crystal between them. By turning on the voltage, the wall changes from transparent to opaque.
When the toilet is not occupied the glass is transparent; therefore, the toilet is just like an ‘object d’art’ on the street corner. Because it is see-through, people are subconsciously motivated to keep it clean as well as to consider it safe.
When a person enters by inserting coins, the sensors on both the ceiling and the floor are activated and the wall becomes opaque.

Performance on the street corner

When a person leaves after using the public toilet, the door is locked and the wall becomes transparent again.
Automatically, the inside of the toilet is cleared by detergent and hot water.
People can see this process from the outside through the glass. This creates a kind of performance for passersby.