A Bog Blog

Toilets are by necessity private and hygienic places.

But ever since their probably Egyptian inception, there has sometimes been a design element, to this unglorified but essential element of our built environment.

They generally don’t rise above the purely functional at most Service Stations, schools, theatres, offices or even at medical centres.

Happily though some owners are splashing out into a realm beyond the utilitarian

In terms of loos as architectural theatre then, we have for instance, Hundertwasser’s marvellous exhuberance in the main street of Kawakawa.

As a tourist attraction it’s a lot more practical than a giant carrot, gumboot, or L&P bottle and is possibly the world’s most photographed dunny.

Hundertwasser described it as being akin to a cathedral, as both are places ‘where one comes to contemplate’ (is this where the term ‘rest rooms’ comes from?)

It is said that the Northland locals contributed to this much loved public facility by planting the grass roof with their own grass type.

Not to be outclassed, the Wellington City Council recently, and courageously (bugger the bean counters), produced their own crustacean referenced sculpture at a key waterfront location.

It is delightfully mad.

I remember a story about how, a hundred years ago, a small town in Texas posted a plan of its proposed new courthouse on a tree in the city centre to invited public comment.

The most common response was the question ‘ why is the out house inside the big house?’

This brings me to the hospitality industry. It realises that going beyond strict function can add significantly to the food and drink experience and some of Wellington’s foodie havens have conjured up some real design wonders that would have Thomas Crapper sitting up in his grave .

I doubt that bog blog research would be seen as a valid excuse to be discovered in the Ladies, so the following draws on a mono gender experience. My bog roll of honour includes (minimalist’s beware):

Ancestral, Courtenay Place. When it opened a few months ago eyebrows were raised about how dark the toilets are, although I am reliably informed that the Ladies’ are pure white.

Concrete, Lambton Quay. Flamboyant stainless swoopy bits.

Hummingbird, Courtenay Place. Small batwing doors curiously lead to larger ones.

Scopa, Cuba St. Began as Rouge and possibly the extravagence of the toilets contributed to the budget running out.

Bangalore Polo Club, Courtenay Place. The new kid on the block with bogs fit for a maharajah.

Osteria del Toro, Tory St. Fornasetti mural provide a feast the eyes whilst evacuating.

Please add to this list, which is by no means complete. Who do you think deserves to be considered or a Porcelain Prize for top potties.