Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has designed a public toilet inside the lush greenery of Nabeshima Shoto Park in Tokyo. The new facility is the ninth addition to The Tokyo Toilet project, an initiative to replace public squat toilets with new state-of-art designs for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Rather than creating a single building, the architect designed five separate huts connected by a stepped walkway that gave the project its name — A Walk in the Woods. “By dividing each section into separate buildings, we created a ‘public toilet village’ that is open, breezy, and easy to pass through, a design appropriate for the post-pandemic times,” explained Kuma.
The huts are covered with Yoshino cedar board louvers installed at random angles to create a more organic, natural look. The architect utilized similar louvers to create edges to the walkway and stairs.
Each toilet is designed with a distinct layout, facility, and interior to accommodate different needs — family, dressing and grooming, wheelchair, etc. The interior walls are decorated with reused cherry and metasequoia wood. “Even in our toilet design, we are entering the age of diversity and a time to go back to the forest,” said the architect.