FANCY a dunny tour?
Bayswater council and artist Duncan Moon reckon tourists might soon be putting the squat, concrete public toilets at Claughton Reserve on their Perth itinerary thanks to a $60,000 makeover.
Moon hopes his curvilinear design with a tortoise-shell roof (reference the western swamp tortoise, WA’s most endangered reptile), ornamental egret columns and kangaroo paw sides will gain recognition as part of a global move towards “toilet tourism”, which recognises the impact a humble ablution block has on people’s experience of a place.
Bayswater is the first WA council to cotton on to the trend, and he says the art community is paying attention because of its potential to be picked up by other councils around the state.
Moon has taken inspiration from about a dozen toilet blocks around the world which are considered international works of art, including the Hundertwasser toilets, which are the main attraction of Kawakawa, New Zealand.
“Toilets aren’t really thought of as having much worth as a building … but in the last 10-20 years there’s been some toilets that have popped up around the world that are quite accomplished bits of architecture,” Mr Moon said.
“Toilets are essential … it’s good to elevate them architecturally because they are very important buildings.”
The Friends of Claughton Reserve first came up with the idea, the suggestion adopted by Bayswater council in October 2014 with an $80,000 budget.
Mayor Barry McKenna praised Mr Moon’s for tying the toilet into Claughton Reserve’s riverine setting.
The new facility is expected to open in January 2017, but Bayswater wants residents to meet the artist and see the work-in-progress so its hosting a free sausage sizzle at Claughton Reserve tomorrow, Sunday November 6 at 12 noon.
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM