And so the days are filled...

09 March 2007

More pennies to spend in Sydney

The last time I posted about spending a penny in Sydney struck such a chord with you all, I just had to take photos of another remarkable public convenience when I happened upon it earlier this week.

Last time, I told you about some of Sydney's oldest public loos. Today we have one of Sydney's most modern amenity blocks:
I am told this one was designed by one of Australia's foremost architects in practice today, Rick LePlastrier. It is situated at Georges Heights (pdf), where an old WWI army hospital now houses the offices of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
Nestled in amongst the WWI buildings, themselves lightly framed pre-fab single storey timber and corrugated iron structures with a sense of impermanance and lacking in ventilation, this toilet block captures every cooling harbour breeze and evokes the feeling of a meditation hall of a centuries-old order of monks in a remote valley in some far-flung place while still managing to politely co-exist with its neighbours.
Water captured from the gutters is fed into the central garden where a green leafy plant reaches skyward and lends the place a sense of dignity and order which is rare, I think, in public loos. Cubicles occupy the four corners of the sqare pavilion, for men, women, accessible, and a shower.
LePlastrier is well regarded for his work in timber, and indeed the cubicles are constructed in a mystifying fashion: triangular section battens are cleverly positioned so as to allow light penetration and ventiliation, but to inhibit any peeking or spying. The arrangement just begs to be challenged - I tried unsuccessfully from every possible angle to look inside a cubicle (don't worry, the place was unoccupied).
This public loo is well off the beaten path, but worth a stop if you find yourself travelling down Middle Head Road for any reason. Even Alan thinks it's great - he thought it might have been the foyer of a Hilton!