Tokyo and the new public toilets: would you enter a “transparent” toilet?

Have you ever thought about using a transparent public toilet in the city center? This is a question you might ask yourself if you find yourself walking around the Tokyo parks. In fact, for some weeks now in some areas of the Japanese capital (in particular in the district of Shibuya) the new ones have been installed hi-tech public services and “transparent”.

The glass becomes opaque when the bathroom is occupied (from tokyotoilet.jp)
The glass becomes opaque when the bathroom is occupied (from tokyotoilet.jp)

The “smart glass”

But you can rest assured: the toilets are made of «smart glass»Colored that becomes dull when the bathroom is busy. It is a creation of the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who, together with fifteen other important designers, contributed to the “Tokyo Toilet Project“, A project of”Nippon Foundation».

The interior (from tokyotoilet.jp)The interior (from tokyotoilet.jp)
The interior (from tokyotoilet.jp)

The two purposes

As explained on the project website, “there are two things we worry about when we enter a public bathroom: the first is the cleaning and the second is if there is anyone inside». So here is Shigeru Ban’s solution: using technology to make clear and opaque bathroom glass transparent when it is occupied. “This allows users – reads the site – to check cleanliness and if someone is using the bathroom from the outside.” Therefore, it will no longer be necessary to knock on the door to understand if the toilet is busy and no nasty surprises in terms of cleaning. Not only that: during the night the structure lights up the park “like a beautiful lantern”. The project plans to install designer toilets in 17 locations in Shibuya by next spring.

18 August 2020 (change August 18, 2020 | 13:51)

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