Public toilets

Competition entry for new public toilets in Cambridge in a key historic and urban location. The brief called for ideas to replace failing underground toilets with upgraded facilities and additional capacity at street level which respected the historic and natural context. Other considerations were that the toilets are for 24 hour public use, hygiene, ease of cleaning and maintenance, limiting vandalism, offering tourist information, avoiding existing underground mains services and providing gender neutral and family facilities.

Shortlisted to the second stage, P&S's proposals are conceived as pieces of separate street furniture. Simple sculptural forms with tough textured cladding over coloured liners, positioned carefully on site to permit pedestrian flow, the units don't block key views while simplifying and enlivening the existing messy street scene. Removing the 'lid' over the existing toilets and replacing it with a precast coffered structure enables daylight and night lighting to filter through to the new toilet layout underground, with improved access via an oval stair within one of the new units.