Community spirit keeps park initiative alive

16 Sep 2014

Temporary pop-up toilet in Rotterdam park kept open for extended time after local community offers to take on cleaning

Easehouse is a temporary public toilet for the Singeldingen Foundation in the Heemraadspark in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. ‘Singeldingen’ is a summertime place for meeting and relaxing in the Heemraadspark, offering a temporary coffee bar and program for the neighbourhood.

Being a public resting place, this foundation also provides public toilets in the park. The choice for toilets was limited to eco friendly dixies, so the foundation looked for an alternative solution for public toilets in the park and asked LAGADO architects to design an attractive, inviting and above all, eccentric toilet, to reflect the ambitions of the foundation.

The toilets are situated in a heavily-used playground at the Heemraadssingel, a characteristic green lung in an 19th century neighbourhood. An inviting, diagonal step makes the height difference between a children’s toilet and an adult toilet. Once inside, the visitor discovers a triangulated roof that is partly kept open. This reinforces the idea of still being outside whilst also providing the necessary ventilation.

The tree above the roof gives a protected, covered feeling and casts shadows into the interior and on the closed roof surfaces. Being a temporary building, the whole construction is made out of green and dark brown concreteplex, off which the exposed sides are sealed with a transparant coating. The whole structure is designed in such a way that it can be partly taken apart and transported on a small trailer, for it is only used in summertime.

The design is made by LAGADO architects and executed by Huishout. The toilet was placed in the park between the beginning of May and the end of July, until large numbers of people left the city on summer holidays. As a pleasant surprise, local inhabitants offered to keep the coffee bar open and take care of cleaning the toilets from the end of July onwards to the end of the summer.

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