I am showcasing one of my own projects that I did a few weeks ago. This was a competition for both professionals and non-professionals separated into two groups, and obviously, I was part of the non-professionals. Contestants had to create three designs for three different sites. The competition objectives were:
To promote civic education on the proper usage of public toilet
To enhance the public toilet services as well as promote a culture of respect to the public toilet facilities in general
Competition Link: https://www.pt2designcompetition.com/brief
I felt like this was a great opportunity to participate in a field where I am very passionate, it will give me experience in designing buildings that incorporate real architectural elements and real-world limitations(Site area, requirements...). This was my first design competition I participated in, and it was very enjoyable.
First, I listed out what the key features of a good public toilet are to me.
Ventilation - Odour Control
Reasonable proximity from other users - Privacy
Now with these features in mind, I started sketching ideas out. The style I was going for was organic. I was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's houses, especially The Circular Sun House in Arizona. I fell in love with the organic forms throughout the house. What I got the most from was the hallway. Although it was slightly too narrow for my liking, I loved the feeling of fluidity it created, it was freer than the usual straight hallway, which felt more confining and restricting. This organic theme and design are prevalent throughout all three designs.
Here are some preliminary sketches(WARNING: It is pretty messy):
Other than the organic design, a defining feature of my public toilets is the rooftop leisure area. I was thinking about how I could enhance and differ my design from traditional public toilets. Hong Kong public toilets are known to be unsanitary, and a non-pleasurable place to go, so I thought other than improving sanitation, I could use other ways to attract people and change the public image of those public toilets. A rooftop leisure area is a place where people can look at the scenery, and enjoy their day. For site 1, the toilet is located on a hiking trail, so the rooftop could be a place to rest, and also a place to enjoy nature. For site 2, the rooftop is a place for people to wait for their buses. For site 3, it is a place to look out over the pier and into the ocean.
Another important feature is the sloped roof. It fits with the organic theme, and makes puiblic toilets seem much more appealing. It makes the building much more stylish and modern, which could also help attract people. Also, when it rains, the water will travel down the sloped roof and create a mini waterfall at the other end, which is a nice touch.
How can I improve?
Acknowledging areas of weakness and growth is crucial when learning more about a certain field. This was my first competition and first experience with designing a serious architecture project, and I have a lot to improve on.
Firstly, the way I present my ideas could use some work. The watercolor paintings are simple, but the technical skills are still not quite there. Improvement would come with practice, and maybe online courses could help as well. Other than these paintings, I could also use digital rendering as well. It does not have to be the hyper-realistic renders, but something more simple(Image on the right by vinay_23 on Fiverr).
I encourage you guys to submit and share your own projects with the community! Click on the "Post your own experiences" page and submit, I will would love to see what you guys are doing!