A Japanese designer has unveiled transparent public toilets with glass walls that become opaque when they are occupied.
Acclaimed architect Shigeru Ban came up with the idea which he said was intended as a practical way to allow users to check for cleanliness as well as whether the toilet was occupied or not.
The unique public toilets are located in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park.
The facilities at the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park were designed with tinted green and blue glass to blend in with the surrounding foliage.
Meanwhile the Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park toilets were given orange, pink and purple hues to compliment a nearby playground.
The design uses new smartglass technology that turns the walls opaque when the door is locked.
‘There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park,’ Ban explained on the project’s website.
‘The first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside,’ the architect continued.
‘Using the latest technology, the exterior glass turns opaque when locked.’
‘This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside. At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern.’
The new facilities have replaced two older public toilets near the large Yoyogi Park in Shibuya.
They consist of three separate cubicles, for male, female and disabled users.