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Commercial Cleaning

Tokyo’s Gravity-defying ‘floating’ toilet

A toilet block in the form of a cube that appears to be hovering above the ground is the latest in a series of cleverly-designed public conveniences to be opened in Tokyo.

Located in the city’s Sendagaya Station, the floating appearance of the 7.5-metre tall concrete structure is created by means of an open space left at the building’s base. A glowing downlight reveals the building’s hidden support when the toilet is viewed at night.

The facility, created by Suppose Design Office, has a welcoming interior with brass signs, solid wooden doors and dramatic shadow-play created by a long skylight. It was built as part of the Tokyo Toilet Project which will eventually see 17 toilets across the capital being redesigned by architects.

Japan’s public toilets are generally perceived to be dark, dirty, smelly and scary places according to Tokyo’s Nippon Foundation, and this makes people reluctant to use them. The aim of the Tokyo Toilet Project is to dispel these misconceptions by coming up with artfully-designed facilities that are seen to be clean and accessible to everyone.

According to the project leaders, chief concerns among Japanese people when using public toilets – particularly those in parks – is that these facilities might be unhygienic or that someone threatening might be lurking inside.

The first toilets in the Tokyo Toilet Project were opened in August 2020 and have transparent outer walls that allow visitors a clear view of the interior before entering. When they go in and lock the door, the walls turn opaque.

Source: European Cleaning Journal