Marc Newson's Tokyo Toilet is Inspired by Vernacular Japanese Architecture
Check out the latest designer addition to the city’s public restroom scheme.
Marc Newson has become the latest designer to be commissioned by The Tokyo Toilet project, and has unveiled a public restroom that mirrors elements of vernacular Japanese architecture.
Australia-born Newson has crafted a simple design, which appears somewhat inconspicuous on the outside, with interiors decked out in a monochromatic shade of green. Its copper “Minoko” roof is inspired by a shape often seen on shrines, temples, and tearooms, which he employed in order to create a sense of peace and belonging. Over time, the copper will patina, and further blend into its surroundings.
This calming approach was taken inside, too, where Newson selected his favorite shade of green to cover the entire space. “It is important to me that the Toilet feels trustworthy and honest inside and out: The bright interior is seamlessly and hygienically finished in a monochromatic green, one of my favorite colors,” he says. Doing away with ornamentation, he describes his design as focusing on “functionality, simplicity, and creating an inviting and enduring space.”
Newson follows in the footsteps of other architects and designers to create public restrooms across the city’s Shibuya area as part of the Tokyo Toilet project. Initiated by The Nippon Foundation, the aim of the scheme goes beyond functionality – with the organizers describing it as “a way of moving toward the realization of a society that embraces diversity”. In 2021, NIGO completed a minimalistic home-like restroom in Harajuku, while Kengo Kuma created a cedar-clad toilet block within Nabeshima Shoto Park. Other designers to have taken part in the project include the likes of Pritzker Prize winners Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando, Fumihiko Maki, and Shigeru Ban.
Take a look around Newson’s Tokyo Toilet project above, and for more design – check out the latest collections from French brand Pinto, which includes a floating bed upholstered in Yves Klein-blue fabric.