Garden Restroom, Hong Kong

Designed by: LAAB Architects
For client: New World Development Company Limited; Leisure and Cultural Services Department, HKSARG Floor area: 50.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: 年度市政空间

Public Score
5.28 Function
5.25 Innovation
5.32 Creativity

About the Project

Garden Restroom is a public lavatory in Salisbury Garden in Hong Kong. Our design challenges the boundary between public and private space by bringing in natural surroundings (e.g. sunlight) into the washroom while maintaining a sense of privacy to optimize user experience. We also maintain a coherent experience of Salisbury Garden by borrowing the architectural language of adjacent buildings and using timber fins to design Garden Restroom. The diagonal pitched roof creates a dynamic spatial experience and provides a visual surprise for those standing from afar. Inside the lavatory, we construct a curvilinear wall to create enclosure with a sense of privacy, while concealing light bulbs, speakers, and exhaust fans underneath. Garden Restroom plays the sound of flowing water, users can enjoy a moment of privacy with comfort and ease.

We also document the historical prominence of Tsim She Tsui by erecting mosaic murals featuring the historic views of Victoria Harbour and Salisbury Road. We use anamorphic perspective to produce distorted images that can be perceptible only from a certain angle at the entrance. We also document Hong Kong toilet development by illustrating toilet typology behind cubicle doors, such as "Back Alley" and "Vacuum Toilet.” Outside the Garden Restroom stands a stone-sculpted drinking fountain and a washing basin. The curvilinear shape responds to the profile of Garden Restroom; the dynamic form also caters to different heights of adults and kids.

What’s unique about it

Salisbury Garden is a public park located in historic Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong. As part of the newly renovated park, Garden Restroom needs to respond to its surrounding, which is a garden within a historic site. We situate Garden Restroom within its immediate context and develop a design that responds to its site instead of creating a stand-alone architecture. We challenge the boundary between public and private space by bringing natural elements (e.g. sunlight, plants, and the sound of water) into the public lavatory while maintaining privacy for users. Our design also connects the past and present by documenting the historic images of Tsim Sha Tsui as well as toilet development in Hong Kong. In doing so, we hope to enhance a sense of comfort and historicity for the design of the public lavatories.

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