The limited scenery is the true beautiful scenery, architecture can bring the beautiful feeling in addition to use function;can solve physiological problems as well as give wonderful psychological feelings. These two public toilets project is located near Hubei XiaoChang Huan river, Huayuan Town.In order to hold the Dragon Boat Festival Competition, the existing surrounding environment of this site should be upgraded, including new square, Boardwalk, public toilet, wharf platform , etc.
▼树林中的公厕，the toilet among the trees
There are large expanses of perennial pine trees in the original site,but only one dry latrine with poor sanitation condition,which is common in Chinese rural areas.Li Tao,the founder of UAO,decided to take preserving these pine trees as the first choice.Thus,two annular buildings of different sizes were designed ,and all the pine trees were skillfully bypassed according to the measured location of these pine trees. This perfectly fits the concept of “blending of architecture and landscape ” that Li Tao has always insisted on: In this project, the integration of architecture and plants makes these two buildings seem to exist on the site for many years. The buildings are regarded as two large containers of the pine trees, and the pine forest surrounds them. Natural elements such as plants takes precedence, followed by artificial elements such as construction.This is how UAO uses the mode of thinking landscape to design buildings.
▼建筑与植物交融，blending of architecture and landscape
There only two cylinders,the regular geometries,in the pine forest.Pure geometry brings it self recognition while it keeps a proper distance from nature.This geometry is designed intentional by Li Tao,who regards this project as a experiment to verify the sense of scale and spatial sense of the “round” building, as well as to provide a prototype exploration for other projects in the future.
▼圆筒状外观，the regular geometry
The building has a circular layout with men and woman’s public toilets listed on both sides of the entrance square. The woman’s toilets are slightly smaller than the man’s room. The logo ,”concave-convex” in Chinese ,of man’s toilets and woman’s on the external wall was also made by red brick and the idea of it was inspire by the characteristics of brick. These special characteristics of it are also used to build holes like flower puzzle, in order to create variable light and shadows,which creates dramatic and dynamic space effect combined with shadow of circular inner courtyard.Glass bricks were also used intermixed in the external wall to make these two building more significant and romantic.
From the outside sky filled with the pine trees to the rounded sky cut by the circular inner courtyard,this courtyard builds a interesting atmosphere, which makes people feel relax during using toilets.It gives people a psychological hint :they are in the outdoor toilet,but their privacy is still guaranteed.This will satisfy the impulse of most people who want to go to toilets outdoors ,while seeing the best scenery.There is another behavior pattern of these people which is,they intend to will walk around the corridor before leaving. This 1.2-meter-high wall with semi-blocked-flower lattice meet their psychology need of exploration and curious.The reason for the shape of the courtyard is that the actual function of the toilets was taken into account.UAO try to increase opening area and to achieve natural ventilation as much as possible.
▼环形内院，the round inside
Covering the sun, the pine forest forms a second “roof” of the building and all the activities are guided under the pine trees,which makes the boundary between the outdoors and indoor blurred.This feeling is particularly strong when people are in the building. The round inner courtyard lead sight to the sky, and the shape of it makes it a perfect circular frame,which makes these common pine trees a vivid picture.
▼圆形内院如同画框，the round shape of it makes it a perfect circular frame
UAO choose red brick as the material of building in order to ensure the purity of the geometric volume and error tolerance considering construction technology of local building workers.It’s proved to be right eventually:walls won’t need to be decorated with tiles on the deadline;dirt resistance and water absorption of it makes it easy to manage after being put into use.All the concrete was brushed only on varnish after being cast.
▼内外清水红砖墙，red brick walls
On the shooting night, a little girl passed by with her mother.The girl asked: Who owns this beautiful house? Her mother said: this is just a public toilet! The little girl whispered: I think it is the house of the stars and moon.The photographer looked up and found it real: the light coming through glass brick of man’s toilet made it like surrounded by stars.And the female toilet door revealed the round door inside like a round moon.
▼公厕如星光包裹， the light coming through glass brick and made it like surrounded by stars
That’s what romance is,not found by the designer although,but found by users of it.Maybe that’s what designer Li Tao meant: architecture should bring people good feeling besides the function of it.This architecture,Round toilet around Huan River ,was built for solving the physiological problems, but it can also giving users wonderful psychological feelings.
▼夜色中的公厕，toilet in the night
Design team: UAO
Chief designer: Li Tao
Team: Li Long、Lu Zhou、Shen Jianxia、Dong Hao、Zu Lijun
Chinese Text: Li Tao
English Text: Zhang Liuyang
Photography: Li Tao、Menli、Shen Jianxia (aerial part)
Project Address: XiaoChang, Hubei
Chinese & English text: UAO