A Survey of Gorgeous Public Restrooms Around the World

Dane Cook summed up the peril of the public restroom in a great stand-up bit that questions everything from the perpetual puddles to the writing on the stalls’ walls. All joking aside, public conveniences are an important part of our urban infrastructure. So much so that the Royal Institute of British Architects hosted a competition (appropriately named Flushed with Pride) to revive the Victorian tradition of the great British public toilet. They challenged the country’s best designers to come up with beautiful, practical alternatives to today’s lackluster loos that, as their site states, “are significantly blighted by poor design and poor maintenance, resulting in unsanitary facilities, anti-social behaviour, and vandalism.”

Recognizing the value of a positive public restroom experience, other cities have jumped on the better bathroom bandwagon. From colorful, freestanding concrete huts inspired by origami cranes to an award-winning, sculptural outhouse on the Colorado River, click through to check out some of the most stunning contemporary public restrooms in the world. Let us know what we might have missed in the comments below!

Hiroshima Park Restrooms by Future Studio

Image credit: Toshiyuki Yano via RECityMagazine

Designed to resemble origami cranes, the seventeen Hiroshima Park restrooms come in three different shapes, but each one has a unique color. Because function’s just as important as form, each small hut was painted with a special glossy formula that can be wiped clean for easy maintenance.