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Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has designed two public toilets for Tokyo with transparent glass walls

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has designed two public toilets for Tokyo with transparent glass walls

They become opaque when the bathrooms are occupied

The bathrooms are illuminated at night
Satoshi Nagare,
The bathrooms are illuminated at night

One of Tokyo's busiest districts has recently added an unusual new design feature - transparent public toilets.

Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, the two sets of see-through restrooms have been installed in two parks at the downtown district of Shibuya, famous for its busy pedestrian crossing.

The offbeat bathrooms at Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park feature tinted-glass walls to enable those approaching to easily check whether they are clean and make sure no-one is inside.

Although they sound like a candid camera experience they're actually part of a design initiative, The Tokyo Toilet project, run by the not-for-profit Nippon Foundation, which is enlisting the help of 16 creatives from around the world to redesign public toilets in 17 locations across Shibuya.

At the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park, Pritzker Prize-winner Ban designed the glass to be tinted with hues of green and blue in complement of the surrounding foliage, while the toilets at Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park reflect nearby playground equipment, with shades of orange, pink and purple.

After dark the bathrooms light up, to make finding them easy.

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