Portland, Oregon's Latest Export: Public Toilets
Portland Toilet/Promo image
Planetizen writes "Portland Perfects the Public Toilet" and people are coming from all over the world to see it. The beauty of it is its radical simplicity; where other new public toilets we have shown are super high tech, this is simple and solid, made of stainless steel. The only water tap is outside so that one can't move in and do laundry. But most importantly, it's barely private. Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times writes:
Louvered slats from foot level to knee level and again just above head level make activity inside somewhat visible, and audible, to passersby. "We can see your trunk, but not your junk," the Portland Loo Facebook page posted recently, adding, "Bwahahaha." "As you approach a Loo, you can see what's happening inside," [project spokeswoman Anne] Hill said. "If it's 2 in the morning and there's two sets of feet in the Loo, law enforcement has cause to knock on the door and say, 'Why are there two sets of feet in the Loo? Two of those feet need to come out.' "
Public toilets serve an important public need, but are a tough design challenge. The Portland Loo seems to be an effective, minimalist approach. More at the Portland Loo facebook page.