Diana Farah Dubai
Transparent public toilets are not the first thing that come to mind when it comes to taking a stroll in the park. However, in Tokyo parks, see-through restrooms are now a reality.
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is the brains behind the Tokyo Toilet project. According to Ban, there are two main things people worry about when they enter a public restroom; cleanliness and whether anyone is inside.
The transparent walls help people see what is inside the toilet and ease their worries. Once a user enters and locks the door, the walls turn into an opaque pastel color, providing privacy.
Ban said the toilets also light up at night, decorating parks like “a beautiful lantern.”
The project enlisted 16 world-famous architects, including four Pritzker Prize winners — Ban, Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando and Fumihiko Maki. Some international architects also include Kengo Kuma and Sou Fujimoto.
The Nippon Foundation is also working with the local government to redesign 17 public toilets in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. The famous toilet company TOTO will consult on toilet equipment as well as the layout of the restrooms.
The transparent washrooms have opened in two parks this month: Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park. More of the toilets are set to open in the coming months.