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28 Apr 2014
The Kumutoto toilets on Wellington waterfront have been voted third best public toilets in the world by the website Design Curial.
The toilets, also affectionately known as the ‘lobster loos’, beat thousands of other entries and were noted by the judges for making a strong style statement as well as being designed to be practical.
Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, who was an initial supporter and on the Wellington Waterfront Board when the toilet design was chosen, says the Kumutoto loos are another example of Wellington’s creativity and thinking outside the square.
“While this is fantastic news, it doesn’t surprise me. They’re creative while being practical and fit very nicely with the waterfront’s inspiring space and architecture.
“In the beginning they did have some critics but let’s just say people who ‘engage’ with them are usually very positive about their experience.”
Architect Bret Thurston’s design consists of two unisex accessible toilets sited on the south western corner of the Steamship Wharf Building that houses Fox Glove, One Red Dog and Cuckoo. The toilets opened in August 2011 and a year later won the public category in the NZIA Wellington Architecture Awards.
Wellington Waterfront CEO, Ian Pike, says it’s a wonderful acknowledgement for something that has become a Wellington icon.
“The toilets have been compared with an armour-plated insect, a crayfish tail, and even an aardvark. But the unusual look makes them instantly recognisable and only adds to the waterfront’s unique and special character. We are feeling flushed with success!”
Design Curial’s website editor, Jamie Mitchell, says the aim of the Rest Room 'Oscars' list was to celebrate creativity and design in buildings often perceived as dull and dreary. If you want to know more about the top ten toilet list go to designcurial.com.