Memos from Asia

Great Japanese Architects Build Innovative, uh, Toilets

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Sixteen creators, including world-famous and eminent Japanese architects Tadao Ando, Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma and Fumihiko Maki, have set out to renovate Tokyo’s public toilets.

On April 5, the Nippon Foundation announced “THE TOKYO TOILET,” a project to build public toilets that can be used comfortably by anyone in 17 locations in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, including parks and train stations. Of the 17 locations, toilets have been completed at three locations in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo.

One of them is a transparent public toilet that allows you to see inside until you lock the door. Photos of these toilets were immediately uploaded on Twitter by users who visited them.

According to the Nippon Foundation, the project will install 17 public toilets in 17 locations in the ward that can be used by anyone, regardless of gender, age or disability, with the cooperation of the Shibuya Ward.

The concept of transparent toilets is a very thoughtful one.

Public restrooms, especially those in parks, have two things to worry about when you go in. One is whether it’s clean inside, and the other is whether anyone is hiding inside.

By creating an exterior wall with glass made with new technology, you can check both of these concerns before you enter the bathroom. And at night, it lights up the park like a beautiful lantern.

If it weren’t for the coronavirus, these toilets would have been flooded with tourists who came to Japan for the Olympics by now.

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