In one of the most popular squares of Lisbon, Praça do Comércio, a new public restroom has been created by Miguel Viera Baptista. Commissioned by Renova, one of Europe’s leading consumption paper companies and best known for its vibrant toilet rolls, Miguel Viera Baptista was entrusted with developing a public restroom programme for the square.
The company wanted the restroom to stand out from the crowd, not only in quality standards, but also by not having the men’s and women’s washrooms strictly separated. The T-shaped plan of the space influenced the design as well. Visitors enter the space through a long corridor that leads to a counter and an internalized room with toilets on both sides. The visitor can then choose their own colour of toilet paper.
Toilets are arranged in a nonlinear manner to emphasize the idea of individual rooms and enhance privacy. Toilet interiors are lined with wooden slats to provide a comfortable and acoustic solution in contrast with the exterior. At the intersection of these two rooms is a communal basin, which functions as a gathering element, a play on the idea of a city fountain where people gather around water.