‘Transparent’ toilets become popular place to go in Shibuya

2020/08/24 16:10

Today's Vocabulary

1.architect (n) 
a person whose job is to design new buildings and make certain that they are built correctly 

2. transparent (adj) 
(of a substance) allowing light  through so that objects can be clearly seen through it

3. opaque (adj) 
preventing light from travelling through, and therefore not transparent or translucent

4. renewed (adj) 
again after having stopped for a period of time

5. ensure (v) 
to make something certain to happen

6. stinky (adj) 
having or producing an unpleasant smell 

7. gaze (v)
to look at something or someone for a long time, especially in surprise or admiration, or because you are thinking about something else

8. occurrence (n) 
something that happens

‘Transparent’ toilets become popular place to go in Shibuya

For people looking for award-winning architect Shigeru Ban’s creation in a park in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, just ask where the restroom is.That’s where the crowd of people will be taking photos of the “transparent” toilets.

On Aug. 16, the toilets in Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park were the star attraction, and not only for people who “had to go.”

When the restrooms are unlocked, the walls become transparent, allowing people to see what’s inside. When the door is locked, the walls become opaque, ensuring users’ privacy.

The toilets are part of the Nippon Foundation’s project “The Tokyo Toilet” to make public restrooms reborn as a comfortable convenience. Ban is one of the 16 creators who are supporting the project to remake the image of public toilets and not be thought of as “dark, dirty, stinky and scary.”

The Shibuya toilets have caught the attention of social networking sites, attracting many users to visit the park. 

If you gaze at the walls in pastel colors, such as light purple and red, you can see white toilets and hand-washing stations inside.The transparent walls of the toilets are created through layers of glass and special film.

Some people online are concerned that the walls, which operate through electricity, could become transparent due to malfunctions or difficulties.

But an official of the Nippon Foundation said there is no need to worry about such an embarrassing occurrence. 

“During a blackout, the walls will be clouded,” the official said. “Even when troubles occur, the toilets can’t be seen from the outside when they are in use.”

World-renowned architects Tadao Ando and Kengo Kuma also participated in the project.

Public toilets at 17 locations in Shibuya Ward are scheduled to be renewed with creativity and imagination by next summer. 

Resource: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13646322

  1. What did architects in Japan unveil?
  2. What happens to the walls when the door is locked?
  3. How many designers worked on the new toilets?
  4. What kind of image of toilets does the Nippon Foundation want to stop?

“In the kingdom of glass everything is transparent, and there is no place to hide a dark heart.”

Vera Nazarian