The idea of using transparent toilets may sound like the stuff of nightmares. However, Tokyo begs to differ, Shibuya neighborhood in the Japanese capital installed installed public toilets with a see-through walls, before people enter, but turn opaque when the doors are closed and locked from the inside.
The transparent toilets, glow in vibrant colors — green, yellow, orange, they are designed by award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
“There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park, the first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside,” the famous Japanese architect said.
Thus the see-through design will resolve both issues Ban explained, “This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside,” says the statement. “At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern.”
The new Tokyo attraction is part of Nippon Foundation Tokyo Toilet project, which aims to put people at ease when visiting a public bathroom – a prospect that can trigger a number of responses, from relief to trepidation.
16 renowned architects particpated in the project to reimagine public toilets. The list includes four Pritzker Prize winners — Ban, Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando and Fumihiko Maki – along with international stars such as Kengo Kuma and Sou Fujimoto. The fashion designer Nigo is also contributing.
“Maybe I feel a little anxious the first time, like will this work? Is somebody (outside) the glass trying to look inside or something?” Cecilia Lopez, a travel blogger from Argentina, told AP Thursday. “But I think it’s more for the fun of it.”
“It’s really clean, and it sort of looks like art,” said Tomoko Mizutani, a Tokyo resident who was taking a photo of the toilet.