UBC Graduate Research

Fostering Through Flushing: Reimagining the Public Toilet Typology Duong, Shirley Anne


As the most intimate, yet public level of interaction between user and architecture, public toilets have remained a neglected site of banality within our urban environments. Existing public toilets are currently stretched thin over a wide geography across Vancouver and act as introverted objects that do not engage with their surroundings. This thesis investigates our perceptions, attitudes, and expectations around its overlapping scales, focusing on the changing role public toilets plays within our cities. Given that these spaces are impacted by factors outside of basic biological need and function, this thesis goes beyond the basic program of the standard toilet to provide an opportunity to redesign the public toilets as a tool for social innovation. Through examination of public toilets as vital pieces of the city’s infrastructure, a new typology is created to accommodate a plurality of users in today’s world while fostering community through added layering of programming. Consideration of these spaces as sites where cultural, technological, and environmental forces converge will inform the basis for a reimagination of underutilized spaces in our city, the parking garage, as valuable and exciting public spaces that encourage a new porosity in public toilets to allow activity and new forms of community.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International