Whether you want to call it a toilet or an attraction, it actually works as both. As well as serving the purpose of a gorgeous and attractive attraction, the Serene Itabu Toilet also serves the purpose of fulfilling ones needs as a bathroom.
This communal bathroom is a very small public place and at the same time is both private and confined. The designation process of this toilet was taken on as a challenge where Sou Fujimoto aimed to design a toilet that is closed, but at the same time offers openness in the background. You can find this bathroom conveniently situated next to the Itabu railway station.
Itabu station runs along the south and north of Ichihara city – Chiba, an area that is well known for its cherry blossoms.
The positioning of the public lavatory is in a swanky 200 square meter garden of flowers and trees. The attractive location surrounds the Japanese creation, which consists of two units – one for people with disabilities and unisex use, the other one is for ladies, which is the only one to merge with the idea of private and public, closed and opened, architecture and nature, and largeness and smallness.
The end result consists of a lavatory that is a glass box positioned in the center of a large garden that is adorned with flowers and trees; providing users with an exquisite view whilst they use the facility. Just to make the lavatory private, a two meter wooden roll consisting of logs acts as a fence and is placed around the perimeter, which once enters via a locked door.
There is a little pathway that is cleared amongst the charming greenery, which helps one get to the lavatory.
The construction of the toilet took place in 2012 prior to the start of an art festival, which was to take place in the town. An upgrade was needed for the public toilets with the end result being the Serene Itabu Toilet, which replaced the old-fashioned and unattractive pit toilets – the Botton Benjo.
Creator, Sou Fujimoto, won international acclaim for the work he carried out. At the time of the win, Fujimoto stated he thought the idea was quite interesting and the fact that toilets are both private and public makes designing them a motivating challenge. The architect also stated how enthusiastic he was that the station was situated in an area with so much wildlife. He used this chance as an opportunity to enhance the relationship between nature and architecture.
The project cost the city roughly about $124,000 and is also defended by the city’s tourist’s board, which refer to the location as a functioning toilet as well as a tourist attraction. Currently, the toilet is only used for ladies, but this may change in the coming future. There is also a conventional toilet outside this unique lavatory for those who wish to use the facility in a more private mode.