What do you think of when you hear the words "public toilet?" Off-white tiles that were selected to minimize costs? Damp floors that never seem to dry? The subtle smell of Lysol? Stalin-era toilet paper? Whatever disturbing images these words may trigger, most will agree that public restrooms are cringe-worthy — and usually lacking in good design. However, when Daigo Ishii + Future-scape Architects were commissioned to design a restroom in Ibuki-shima, Japan, the design team reimagined the often frowned-upon typology as a way to revitalize a community.

Located on an isolated island, the municipality asked for a building that espoused novelty so as to attract the tourists' attention. Daigo Ishii's distinct design for the House of Toilet simplifies the typical pitched-roof style of homes surrounding the structure, and intersects the plan with six voids.

Like an architectural compass, each slit indicates the direction of a major city on each continent— except for Antarctica of course —establishing a connection between the island and the rest of the world.

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Furthermore, Ishii sought to mark the toilet's larger presence in the cosmos (we're serious). The voids are also oriented to the location of the sun at 9:00 am on the day of three traditional ceremonies, as well as the summer and winter solstices, allowing meticulously calculated light to enter into the building and illuminate its interiors.

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