Public toilets are important elements of the built environment. They are a civic necessity. They should not only adjust to local needs and conditions, but raise awareness about the importance of inclusiveness and sanitation in society.
The proposal is based on this understanding. It is designed in ways to improve the physical, social and environmental image of our built environment. Two blocks, each measuring 9’ by 12’, make up the male and female toilets. A 7’ by 7’ block makes up the toilet for persons with disabilities. These come together around an elevated court. The court provides access to each of these blocks. Doors are not added to the male and female blocks to improve hygiene. Entrance to the female block, however, is planned in ways to ensure privacy. The court itself can be accessed by a ramp along east-west axis and steps along north-south axis. The ramp has a slope of 1:12 in order to ease access for persons with disabilities. A waiting area is provided within the court for persons accompanying the female visitors. A bamboo wall hides the court from the street – but only partially. This visual permeability is proposed to ensure safety and avoid misuse. The blocks are oriented to minimize stench. Raised and inclined corrugated roofing above the blocks aids this process. The water tank is placed on top of the toilet block for persons with disabilities.
Surfaces facing the streets are articulated by concrete jalis and creeper plants. These serve to discourage graffiti and pasting of posters, and to improve the physical and social image of our cities. These surfaces are further adorned with platforms which support commercial activity. Cobblers, newspaper sellers, and other vendors can all find a place here. This commercial activity can help sustain the public facility – keeping it clean and functional. Sitting areas along the periphery provides some with the opportunity to pause and reflect, and provides others with the opportunity to interact. Through such activities, the richness of our street culture is maintained.