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18th September 2019
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Toto reveals new washroom gallery at Narita Airport
More than just a conventional public toilet, the Toto Gallery, a 145sq.m space recently opened in the waiting area of the new Terminal 2 at Tokyo's Narita Airport, gives visitors the opportunity to experience Toto bathroom products first-hand.
Travellers from around the world stand still, walk in and are inspired: the hall to the toilets, normally an inconvenient part of public buildings, is transformed into a journey through a world with much to discover: performances, art and an especially pleasant, hygienic and inspiring area for the bathrooms.
The concept, developed by Tokyo-based architecture practice Klein Dytham Architecture, gives travellers from around the world the opportunity to experience the various facets of Toto, especially the highly developed bathing culture and incredibly strong hygiene standards.
The Gallery is located directly across the various service and waiting areas in the Narita Sky Lounge, such as the Family Beach Corner and a smoking room. From the outside, it looks like the expansive front of a showroom. Directly behind the glass windows are fabric-covered LED monitors that show changing colours and people moving like a shadow play.
Visitors are welcomed by a world entirely in white featuring 10 different booths, or room-in-room installations, as well as toilets and a multi-purpose sanitary area. As people enter the space, interesting videos capture their attention - showing aesthetic, abstract presentations on the theme of water, for example. The door to one of the booths opens slowly as a person approaches, and the toilet lid lifts just as discreetly and quietly. The gentle, serene atmosphere invites visitors to linger.
According to Italian-born architect Astrid Klein, co-founder of Klein Dytham Architecture, this is exactly the impact she intended to create. A long-time resident of Tokyo, she explains that the toilets at Narita Airport are known for being among the cleanest in the world. In addition to ensuring pure hygiene, it is essential to create an atmosphere in which people feel comfortable. Toto senior design director Junichi Tani adds: "I think that public toilets in other countries feel very cold."
This is one of the inspirations for the idea behind the Gallery, 'Feel human'. Toto's very sophisticated technology creates a comfortable feeling without being overwhelming.
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23rd October 2015