zuzhai public toilet by atelier cnS expresses its history with reused crushed rubble

zuzhai public toilet by atelier cnS expresses its history with reused crushed rubble

situated in the historic and picturesque landscape of zuzhai village in kaiping, southern china, atelier cnS constructs a public toilet as an expression of the rich heritage of its context. built on the site of a former public restroom, the brick and title project is constructed from the materials sourced from the previous structure’s demolition. in the design of architectural form, the project is treated as a continuation of the landscape. part of its functional areas are hidden under a large step which offers a public gathering space for locals, which resolves the contradiction between the convenience and concealment of public toilets.

public toilet zuzhai cnS
all images by siming wu, space of tangkou



through the expressive use of materials, atelier cnS creates a new modular system of construction. with the reuse of crushed and broken bricks and tiles, the structure conveys its history in a new form. the shattered material composite finds structural integrity with a steel wire cage-like wrapping, offering a free and varied method of organization. the mottled, derelict bricks and tiles recall fragments of local history broken up, rearranged, and collaged.

public toilet zuzhai cnS



the method of construction of the wall is determined by the ‘gravity rule.’ as the upper wire mesh modules require a lower weight, the crushed material fill becomes more varied. these moments reveal fragments with more hollows such as old teapots, and the brick wall more transparent. with the rising and setting sun, natural light penetrates through the interstitial space within these brick walls and falls on the ground or the corner of the wall, casting a little golden spot.

public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS public toilet zuzhai cnS



project info:


project title: public toilets in zuzhai village

construction: atelier cnS

project location: zuzhai village, tangkou town, kaiping

design director: guanqiu zhong, gang song, zhiyuan zhu

design team: hairui lin, ruibo li, zhongjing xu, tao hu

structure: zimao zheng

construction unit: dongguan huichun municipal landscape engineering co., ltd

construction supervision: xianggang chun

built area: 121 square meters

completion: 2019

photographer: siming wu, space of tangkou


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