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Transparent toilets - your worst nightmare?

(56 Posts)
MawB2 Tue 18-Aug-20 08:43:00

From today’s Guardian

It sounds like the worst kind of anxiety dream – a public toilet cubicle that appears to offer the promise of blessed relief, but which on closer inspection turns out to be entirely see-through.

That, though, is the design feature behind several toilets that recently opened in public parks in Tokyo.

The “transparent” toilets, created by the Pritzker prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban and more than a dozen other leading designers, are made from coloured “smart glass” that turns opaque when the cubicles are occupied.

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The conveniences opened this month in five locations in the capital’s Shibuya neighbourhood as part of the Tokyo Toilet Project, organised by the nonprofit Nippon Foundation.

Novelty aside, the foundation said there were important practical considerations behind the unusual toilets, which it likened to a “curious piece of playground equipment”.

“There are two concerns with public toilets, especially those located in parks,” it said. “The first is whether it is clean inside, and the second is that no one is secretly waiting inside.”

Using new technology, the foundation said the cubicles’ glass outer walls turn opaque after the door is locked, allowing prospective users to survey the interior before spending a penny.

“At night they light up the parks like a beautiful lantern,” it added.

Japan’s hi-tech WCs have long been the subject of fascination among visitors to the country.

I think I’ll give them a miss!

MawB2 Tue 18-Aug-20 08:44:18

Sorry about the “advertisement “bit in the middle, I tried to delete it, but clearly failed

Nannytopsy Tue 18-Aug-20 08:45:59

That ranks with the nightmare of being naked at work!

MawB2 Tue 18-Aug-20 08:47:24

Doesn’t it just!
This is what they look like (empty!)

Jane10 Tue 18-Aug-20 08:48:56

Oh. Just no!

janeainsworth Tue 18-Aug-20 08:50:26

Why did I immediately think of those toilets on some trains with curved doors that slide round to shut themselves after you press a button and something lights up to tell you it’s locked, but which don’t provide the feeling of security you get when you’ve physically bolted a door yourself? grin

janeainsworth Tue 18-Aug-20 08:53:05

And while I’m on the subject of trains I do dislike that thing on the mirror in the cubicle, that has a smiley face and tells you to have a nice day or something similar.
It just makes me feel as though I’m being watched. blush

felice Tue 18-Aug-20 08:54:51

I went into a cafe here and the doors to the cubicles were clear glass. They changed colour on the outside but stayed clear inside.
I was desperate but really did not feel comfortable. I will be there again soon and have warned my friend I am going with in advance.

lemongrove Tue 18-Aug-20 09:25:21

They do look very pretty.....but it’s hard to get our heads around the whole transparent thing!

Bathsheba Tue 18-Aug-20 09:25:23

Is the effect the same or different from the inside? Is it like the 'one way' mirrors, where the glass is a mirror one side and a window the other? I mean, how do you know for sure when you're inside, that the glass walls have become sufficiently opaque?

In any event, I would be anxious about the technology failing!

4allweknow Tue 18-Aug-20 09:43:28

Think they would be very good for the UK. Once the door is unlocked it may be easy to see any damage, mess left with paper and everything else found in UK public conveniences. At times I shudder at having to use a public toilet anywhere. Been to Japan and the toilets I visited were spotless.

Marjgran Tue 18-Aug-20 09:44:39

Frankly nothing would stop me going if I needed to! A nettle patch suits me these days. My daughter went to Japan, public (clean) loos everywhere. Wonderful. I went to Sweden - virtually none.

JTelles7 Tue 18-Aug-20 09:46:43

They are safe and gives assurance to potential users when it gets dark.
Because of the way the glass changes colour no one can see you except a silhouette. I worked at a company that had such toilets. After the initial surprise you get used to it. There was once installed near the Madame Tussaud a toilet with one way mirrors. The occupant could see every thing happening outside but no one on the outside could see in. Bit unnerving initially but after not a problem

Grannynannywanny Tue 18-Aug-20 09:48:46

I can imagine some folk will press their nose to the glass to peer in and see how it works. Now I’m picturing myself sitting on the throne with some stranger’s face trying to peer in 😱

Jane10 Tue 18-Aug-20 09:59:45

Oh. It just gets worse!

BlueSky Tue 18-Aug-20 10:14:16

If you are desperate you won't mind! grin

Riggie Tue 18-Aug-20 10:24:39

I read this too. I dont like using public loos anyway but these would freak me out!!

minxie Tue 18-Aug-20 10:51:11

I visited my sons new flat at the weekend. The hugely expensive houses opposite have bathrooms at the front of the house. The toilet is right next to the window which is sort of frosted.
Well you can clearly see people sitting on the loo and and we got a good eyeful of naked bottom when a chap got off the loo and worse. He didn’t wash his hands either.
A note needs popping through the door. It put me off my breakfast whilst sitting on the balcony

jocork Tue 18-Aug-20 11:07:27

At the school where I work we have one way glass in the physiotherapy rooms. From inside the view is normal and you can see what is going on outside but you can't see in from outside so students having physio have privacy. I'd been working there for years before someone pointed it out to me, but I'm not sure I'd trust it in a public loo! I even sometimes feel insecure if I use one of the disabled loos in our department as it is so big, with a hoist etc to get disabled students out of wheelchairs, as you cant reach the door from the loo, even though I know I've locked it.

harrigran Tue 18-Aug-20 11:20:38

I visited a ladies room that was all glass, cubicles and windows floor to ceiling. It is a very strange feeling but got over my fear by waiting until my sister had been in the cubicle and was reassured that you can see absolutely nothing.

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 18-Aug-20 11:28:27

A definite no! I like my privacy and that's that!

Linnana Tue 18-Aug-20 11:39:56

Loads of my dreams have toilets featuring in them - or should I say nightmares! I hate public toilets at the best of times and my dreams are about toilets which are filthy, have no doors, are communal and open-plan! Not sure I would be happy using the Japanese ones!

Liz46 Tue 18-Aug-20 11:41:18

We went to a posh hotel in India and the en suite had a huge, curved glass wall. In theory I could have sat on the loo and waved to my husband in bed. Fortunately they had provided a curtain which we firmly shut.

NannyG123 Tue 18-Aug-20 11:43:36

In a local big named chain restaurant, there is a full length mirror on the toilet door. I sit on toilet with eyes closed. Who wants to see themselves sitting on toilet, not me thats for sure

BlueSky Tue 18-Aug-20 11:52:25

Most of the newer hotels have shower/loos with clear glass partitions, they do have a curtain you can close though. They do warn you to be on first name terms with the person you'll be sharing a room with! grin