Tokyo Unveils Transparent Public Toilets That Still Provide Privacy

In an effort to show the cleanliness and availability of a public bathroom, bathrooms with transparent walls have been created.

A man walks past a transparent toilet designed by Shigeru Ban.

Image via Getty/PHILIP FONG

A man walks past a transparent toilet designed by Shigeru Ban.

Public restrooms with transparent walls have started to crop up in Tokyo. The unusual lavatory comes from the Tokyo Toilet Project, which aims to present public restrooms as clean and safe facilities. 

The Tokyo Toilet Project enlisted the help of architect Shigeru Ban to fulfill their vision. Ban created bathrooms with walls that you can see through until the door is locked from the inside. Once locked, the walls become opaque with various pastel hues, preventing anyone from looking inside. "At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern," Ban's firm explains on their website.

The restrooms underwent a variety of tests from the public, and it seems to have passed the privacy test.

Some online said they would feel comfortable doing their business, knowing that you can be one malfunction away from having unwanted viewers.

Others, however, applauded Ban for the innovative approach. 

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