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Transparent Toilets, Tokyo

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban has designed two public toilets for the Tokyo Toilet project with transparent glass walls that become opaque when they are occupied.

Built in the city's Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park, the pair of restrooms feature tinted-glass walls to enable those approaching to easily check whether they are in use or not.

Ban designed the two toilet blocks to have transparent glass walls
This see-through quality was also selected to reassure users that the facilities are clean without them having to enter the toilet block first to check. For privacy, the glass walls become opaque once the occupant has entered and locked the door.

The new buildings replace two dated public toilets in a pair of small parks near the large Yoyogi Park in Shibuya. Both structures were built according to the same design, with the exception of the colour of the glass walls.

At the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park, the glass is tinted with hues of green and blue to complement the surrounding trees, while the toilets at Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park took cues from the nearby playground equipment, featuring shades of orange, pink and purple.

Each facility comprises three separate cubicles – a male, female and accessible toilet – which are divided by mirrored walls.

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