The new structure at Sendagaya Station was designed by Suppose Design Office ahead of the planned 2021 Olympic Games
Japanese architecture practice Suppose Design Office has completed a concrete public toilet structure at Sendagaya Station in Tokyo that appears to hover above the ground.
Located between the elevated Metropolitan Expressway and the subway station – which is used to access the National Stadium – the 75.92 sq m building was designed as a piece of infrastructure to be used not just for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but for the city in the future.
‘We started the project by reconsidering the impression, function and usage of the conventional “public toilet”,’ explains the studio. Working with a narrow plot, the concrete structure makes a statement with height, and the architects have raised the exterior 7m-high walls above the ground by 500mm to give the building the appearance it is floating.
Inside the minimal structure, accessed by an open doorway, wooden-clad toilet booths are discrete entities enabling privacy, with communal hand-washing facilities in the centre.
‘By floating the walls, we were able to create a good connection between the interior of the building and the city… and we were able to get rid of the corridors and dead ends that lead to a sense of stagnation and uneasiness in public restrooms,’ the studio explains.
The interior walls of the concrete structure have undergone high-pressure washing to leave the aggregate visible. Lighting filters into the space not only from the gaps below the walls but also from a linear rooflight.
The luxury quality of the Accoya wood panelling and brass signage, meanwhile, were specifically chosen to contradict the conventional perception of public toilets.
Photography by Kenta Hasegawa