sou fujimoto places a public toilet in a secluded garden
sou fujimoto places a public toilet in a secluded garden
oct 29, 2013

sou fujimoto places a public toilet in a secluded garden

the communal bathroom is notably one of the smallest ‘public’ spaces, despite being both confined and private. japanese architect sou fujimoto took on the challenge of designing a toilet that, while still being closed, offered an openness in the context of its railway station-adjacent site in ichihara-city, chiba.

sou fujimoto public toilet
the public lavatory is set within a lush 200 square meter garden of trees and flowers
image by iwan baan (also main image) | all images courtesy of sou fujimoto architects



taking the picturesque location into consideration, sou fujimoto conceived two units — one for unisex use and people with disabilities, and the other for women only. the project merges the notions of public and private, opened and closed, nature and built architecture, and smallness and largeness.

sou fujimoto public toilet
for privacy, a log roll fence has been installed around the glass box toilet
image by iwan baan



the result is a lavatory inside a glass box that has been placed in the middle of a 200 square meter garden planted with trees and flowers. this provides occupants a serene view while using the facilities. to combat the issue of seclusion, a 2 meter tall wooden log roll fence has been placed around the perimeter. a small pathway has been cleared away among the lush foliage, to reach the outhouse. this multi-layering and divergence of internal and external boundaries converge into one another while maintaining a certain ambiguity that suggests a primitive form of architecture.

sou fujimoto public toilet
the public toilet is positioned next to itabu station in ichihara-city, chiba
images by iwan baan

sou fujimoto public toilet
one enters the toilet through a wooden log fence
image by iwan baan

sou fujimoto public toilet
the fence is 2 meters in height
image by iwan baan

sou fujimoto public toilet
approach to the public toilet in ichihara
image by iwan baan

sou fujimoto public toilet
site plan
image courtesy of sou fujimoto architects

sou fujimoto public toilet
image courtesy of sou fujimoto architects

sou fujimoto public toilet
visualization of the public toilet in ichihara
image courtesy of sou fujimoto architects

  • oh gee, why??

    michael says:
  • seeing the first image i thought it was installed in the middle of the city….
    what is the point in having this bathroom when the inside and the suroundings are the same?
    I would prefer to pee on the side of the road

    juliano says:
  • This answers the age old question on the minds of bears – do humans s**it in a box?

    trimtab21 says:
  • ridiculously beautiful

    moon says:
  • I was planning to undertake a pilgrimage for a satori moment till I noticed the women only sign……..

    Airborne says:
  • ridiculously beautiful? nah, just ridiculous.

    sun says:
  • You can puff it up with Artspeak, but it’s just an exercise in making people uncomfortable. Why on earth would you consider that an artistic endeavor?

    Bob says:
  • those must have been some mean beans

    Smeagol says:
  • Haha… it’s a female toilet only! And the little shed next to the garden is the male toilet?? Well, I guess, that’s what women deserve… when they go to the toilet it anyways only smells of roses! Hahaha! ;-))

    Katrin says:

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