Public Toilets in Zuzhai Village | Atelier cn°S & South China University of Technology

Winner – Award of Excellence in the 2020 WLA Awards for the Built Small category

The Public Toilets in Zuzhai Village is located in the well-known hometown of overseas Chinese and the township of Diaolou. It is designed and located at the original public toilet in Zuzhai Village. The old materials and the old toilet are reborn after the reuse of material from the demolished toilet.

In terms of architectural form, we chose a landscape-like treatment, hiding the functional area of ​​the toilet under the large steps that provide villagers with daily leisure and entertainment. The large steps could host activities, in an attempt to solve the contradiction between the convenience and concealment of public toilet.

With regard to the choice of materials, we attempt to create a new modulus and order, reusing the old bricks and tiles that have lost their modulus after being broken and cannot be used, which let the old materials continue to write a new form of history. The use of a steel cages with a uniform modulus allows the tiles to be organized flexibly in the cages. The mottled old bricks and tiles are like sections of local historical fragments, which are broken, reorganized and collaged. The construction process of the entire wall follows the rules of gravity. The further the cages to the upper part, the less weight they need to bear, the more flexibility of the reconstruction, the more tiles, broken bricks, Teapots, porcelain bowls and other objects can be used inside the walls. Those materials create plenty of hollow to make the brick wall more transparent. At sunrise or sunset, sunlight passes through the cracks from the wall, creates beautiful light falls on the ground or the corners.

These materials carry memories of the past of the village, we hope to organize them into the new public toilet, to maintain the common and moving details of lives in Zuzhai after the renewal.

Public Toilets in Zuzhai Village

Location :Zuzhai village, Tangkou Town, Kaiping, Guangdong, P.R. China

ClientTangkou township government of Kaiping City

Landscape Architect:Atelier cn°S & South China University of Technology

Design DirectorZHONG Guanqiu, SONG Gang, ZHU Zhiyuan 
Design TeamLIN Hairui, LI Ruibo,XU Zhongjing,HU Tao(intern)

Structure ConsultantsZHENG Zimao

Photographer:WU Siming, Atelier cn°S

About Damian Holmes 3143 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at