Located in the city’s Yoyogi Fukamachi and Haru No Ogawa parks in the Shibuya City ward, the Tomei public conveniences are designed to reassure people.
The architect has said that people often worry about disturbing someone inside the cubicle, prompting him to use clear glass to make it visible if the toilets are occupied or not. That all changes once someone’s flipped the lock however, which turns the walls of the cubicle opaque. At night time, the coloured glass glows like a paper lantern, helping people locate the facilities.
Ban’s glass toilets are part of a broader initiative by the Nippon Foundation, entitled the Tokyo Toilet Project, which is building 17 public conveniences that challenge negative perceptions. They’re being created by 16 different designers, briefed to make them accessible to all – regardless of age, gender, or disability.