PP Garden is a gender-neutral public restroom that provides inclusive relief for those that need to relieve themselves and serves as an unlikely social space. The office building toilet was originally narrow in size, frequently untidy, dim and often smelly. Both men and women frequently had to line up. The Leping Foundation, a tenant in the building, ultimately decided to refurbish the toilet to align with their mission of social inclusion and openness. The design also considers the cultural context of China where there are residential areas with no private toilets, leading to public toilets commonly used also as places for chit chat and social exchange.
The original men's and women's toilets were unified into one to create the PP Garden. Regardless of gender, one can choose any stall to use the toilet. The result is a fairer bathroom. To encourage interaction, we created large openings in the partition wall that previously divided the space by gender. Functions such as hand washing, grooming and drying are incorporated into the wall on both sides. This saves space and the openings serve as an opportunity for informal chatter, as people on either side wash and dry their hands as well as do their make-up. To enliven the space, we filled the wall with hundreds of different plants. Selected and cared for by the adjacent offices, the plants can be freely rearranged. The greenery can also provide a topic for a conversation.
To ensure greater convenience, information on the number of empty stalls is displayed in the nearby offices. People can check the availability of the toilet from the desk and avoid unnecessary queueing.
Client:Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation
Date of Completion: Jan 2020
Principals:He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng
Project Team:Xu Jialing, Sha Jinghai, Wang Xuecheng
Photographer:People’s Architecture Office，Jin Weiqi
Area:32 square meters