Plasticity and inclusiveness: an experiment for a public restroom in Beijing

People’s Architecture Office combines curved shapes, single-material volumes and homogeneity of space, valorizing a service architecture for all.

Even a functional service architecture can be born out of experimentation and become a landmark. That is the case of the Amoeba public restroom project in Beijing. Designed by People’s Architecture Office, the architecture takes the shape of a small mono-material pavilion with sinuous shapes where the space becomes highly dynamic in a succession of concave and convex curves.

The exterior sees the wall meandering in a single opaque surface, capable of fluidly generating spaces for the individual toilets inside and simultaneously having a continuous central distribution space. Each of the toilet cubicles thus fits into a niche created by the course of the wall, in a conical space that contributes lighting through zenithal openings. Light thus gives life and value to shapes and spaces, dignifying a service building.

domus - amoeba restroom beijing, people's architecture office
Photo Zhu Yumeng, People’s Architecture Office

Particular attention was then paid to the possibility of responding to visitors’ needs, aiming to guarantee maximum inclusiveness. In their dimensions and identities, the spaces therefore conform as usable by everyone, such as children, people with disabilities, and without any gender distinction.

The doors of each box do not close the full height of the compartment, always leaving the possibility of recognizing the plastic spatiality of the project. Washbasins finally define the boundaries of interior space, placed in two niches at opposite ends of the building.

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