LOCATION: Kenilworth, Queensland, Australia
PROJECT TYPE/SERVICES: Competition/Public Infrastructure
CLIENT: Town of Kenilworth
The approach was to attempt to provide a bold, elegant, economical and buildable design that met the competition and brief objectives while also solving the functional and technical requirements.
On first sight ‘the dunny’ is a contemporary cubist utilitarian architectural form, bold, contrasting with and rising above the landscape. Your attention is immediately attracted by the large scale black & white graphics, highly visible and legible at a distance. The graphics obviously show the function of the structure using oversized universal symbols for male, female and disabled toilets. A second, maybe less immediately obvious reading is that of a bizzare, overscaled, abstracted version of a Friesian cow, symbolic of Kenilworth’s proud dairy industry.
‘The dunny’ is sited east of centre on the lot, near, but not too close to the existing picnic shelter. Immediately adjacent to the carparking/service road, the ramp starts from a stone paved circular pad and follows an interesting looping path softened by curved direction changes up to the main block floor level 4m above natural ground level.
East and west ‘wing’ walls of the structure at right angles to the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road almost appearing like billboards provide wind protection to the sheltered platform and frame superb views to the north and south.
Male, female and disabled toilet cubicles are on the east side of the platform with a communal wash basin and rest/waiting seat on the west. Spacious but not excessive, the platform has a projecting balcony for taking in the outlook to the north. The openness of the structure provides good visibility for user safety. The concept idea is adaptable enough that it could be revised to also accommodate a unisex parent/baby change room.
The simplicity of the design makes it eminently understandable, economical and buildable. For flood resistance, strength and maintenance, construction is proposed to be concrete and steel with timber bulkhead/soffit linings for contrast and visual warmth. Graphics would be in anti-vandal coated high quality exterior industrial grade enamel paint. Simplicity means that the design lends itself to alternative, more light-weight construction methods and materials.
Water and effluent tanks are proposed to be concrete and located underground below the main structure with secure access hatches. A vertical riser element conceals waste pipes, vent pipes, water supply, rainwater harvesting, electrical, pump and solar power cabling. A bulkhead to the underside of the platform conceals services to keep the design looking clean and tidy.