Shuichiro Yoshida
Tokinokura Lavatories
Tiny lavatories with Light and Shadow
The project is located in Chikusei City in Ibaraki Prefecture, approximately 60km north-east from Tokyo in Japan. In this region, there are historical storage buildings of stone since early 20th century, although the most of these buildings, called “Ishi-Kura” in Japanese, were demolished and disappeared from the townscape due to the city development after the World War II. A volunteer group in the region obtained one of the storage buildings and maintains it as their activity base for discovering the region-specific historical and cultural heritages. The building is named as Tokinokura, which means a storage persists in past and future. Although Tokinokura is in good condition and useful for the volunteer group, there was no toilet for the visitors and staffs. In autumn 2008, the group organized a public design competition for the toilet, which they desired for long time. This design was selected out of 76 applied design proposals and constructed in Feburary – May 2009. This small toilet building includes two toilet booths for men and women. Although the floor area is only 8.62㎡, there is rich space above toilet booths. It is intended that the toilet starts new history with Tokinokura. It means not only to preserve the region-specific landscape but also to create new landscape in future. Visitors in the toilet booth could experience quiet and rich feeling, enjoying the soft light from the upper window and the framed view of the old stone wall of Tokinokura.