'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sculptural Loos at Matakana - Working Art

Although I do detect a bit of a national obsession with toilet buildings in New Zealand - aided and abetted by Frederich Hundertwasser's wonderful structure at Kerikeri - I am all in favour of art that is combined with a practical purpose.

The loos that service the village of Matakana are quite remarkable, and very inviting. I'd have wanted to try them out even if I didn't need to! Apparently there was a competition held for them and a young Matakana lad Steffan de Haan, in his first year of art school beat everyone else, including architect companies. Good on him.
There are references to the local boat-building industry in the design, and the doors are recycled kauri timber - a beautiful and iconic New Zealand Northland tree.

I especially like the round coloured glass louvre windows. The light that enters through them, plus the vaulted shapes, feels almost like a castle. I'm sure someone has already suggested it makes for a more authentic throne-sitting experience.


  1. All it needs is a waterfall to help the occupants along....

  2. I agree that these are splendid loos. One of the things that NZ does really well is provide good loos throughout the country.

  3. Robert - hmmm, you've lost me there.

    Geeb - I think we do, indeed. Always reassuring to know they are generally likely to be clean-ish to pristine, depending on the location. Well, the women's, anyway...

  4. Wow, I love the curved lines and those faces. Presumably there is an angle where both halves of the face can be viewed as a whole?

  5. Scrub that! I just realised that they are two bottom halves. Derrr...x

  6. Elizabeth - they are great, aren't they. I also liked the way you could enter the little courtyard and not be seen dithering over which side to go into. Turns out each is for either gender anyway.