Higashi Sanchome Toilet redefines the way a public bathroom establishes personal space

The bathroom is a place where we address physical needs universal to all mankind, regardless of age, sexual identity, nationality, religion, or skin color. As we come into an age of increased awareness, how can a communal space like the public bathroom evolve in order to effectively accommodate our infinitely diverse needs?‘ – Nao Tamura

Living in New York, I have been privileged to witness the LGBTQ+ community living in alignment with their sexual identities. As I designed this public bathroom for a small triangular lot in Shibuya (Japan), I envisioned a society that embraces the LGBTQ+ community and holds space for them to live their truth. I realized that what enables each user a comfortable experience boils down to safety, privacy and urgency. With this in mind, I created three separate spaces that redefine the way a public bathroom establishes personal space.

The design was inspired by Origata, a traditional Japanese method of decorative wrapping. A symbol of gift-giving, this motif embodies the spirit of hospitality towards Shibuya ward’s multinational visitors, and carries the designer’s vision to create a safe space that envelopes all users. She says this design represents her hope for a society where people from all walks of life feel safe and are able to thrive.

Design and info © Nao Tamura

Images © Satoshi Nagare

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