Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Kumutoto Toilets in Wellington, New Zealand by Studio Pacific Architecture
July 11th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Studio Pacific Architecture
These public toilets are located at the Synergy Plaza in the Kumutoto Precinct, situated at the northern-most end of Wellington’s waterfront. As well as taking into account practical considerations such as security, hygiene and vandalism, the brief was to create a structure with a sculptural form, something iconic, highly visible and unusual that was also well integrated into the visual and historical context of the surrounding precinct.
To be seen in the round, the design comprises two elongated, irregularly curved forms, instantly recognisable from all key pedestrian approaches and terminating a sequence of spaces and elements along the laneway. These organic forms, eye-catching and instantly memorable, are suggestive of crustaceans or sea creatures, as if the structure was a kind of fossilised husk that had been discovered and inhabited. Recalling the waterfront’s shipping past, they evoke the crusty saltiness of the sea in the smooth levelness of the precinct, clinging to its surface like barnacles to the underside of a boat. This aquatic reference also links back to the origins of the name Kumutoto, a former pa and ancient stream running under the reclaimed land.
Each form contains one accessible public toilet, with one of the two also including cleaning facilities. Their robust concrete construction is appropriate to the surrounding maritime environment. A metal rainscreen, painted the brick red of the neighbouring sheds, ties them into the heritage context and enhances their visibility. While they contrast with the linear architecture of the surrounding buildings, again contributing to their visual distinctness, the curves of the new structure also echo some of the ornate detailing on the nearby sheds. Cantilevered ‘tails’ provide natural ventilation.
About Studio Pacific:
Studio Pacific offers skills across the full range of architectural practice, including masterplanning, urban design, cultural and community work, and specialist fitouts, in many instances our work is sought after for its integrated and cross-disciplinary approach.
We pride ourselves on designing holistically. We approach each project afresh, and strive for innovative and progressive means of unlocking the potential within. Our creative edge has led to Studio Pacific receiving over 40 national and international awards since the company was founded in 1992.
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