Underground Washrooms at Kadikoy Park

The underground washroom unit at Kadiköy Park is a remarkable urban space, which respects both people and the environment. The unobtrusive structure is nestled in its own natural setting within a busy and diverse urban environment. The building is a rare example of activist architecture that was realized through the initiative of the architect, the operator and Kadiköy Municipality.
Variant Names Kadiköy Parki Umumi Tuvaletleri
Location Istanbul, Turkey
Architect/Planner Gökhan Avcioglu
Client Municipality of Kadiköy
Date 1996
Century 20th
Decade 1990s
Building Type landscape
Building Usage park

The project is a one-storey underground building with a total covered area of 225 square metres. The main mass of the building protrudes only 1.1 metres above ground level. On the southeast side, covering the women's entrance, a small, lightweight steel and glass structure projects over the basic mass to a height of 2.5 metres above ground level.

The covered area of the building occupies 4 per cent of the 5,500-square-metre site. Outdoor areas servicing the building and leading down to it occupy an additional 46 square metres.

The underground facility has two parts, for male and female users respectively. Each section provides toilets and a proportionate number of washbasins, with urinals in the male section. The unit has two entrances: a covered staircase to the east for women; and, to the west, two external staircases for men and a ramp for wheelchair users. Other underground accommodation includes a separate toilet for disabled people, storage, mechanical services, a water tank and a staffed kiosk for entry control. The architect's design approach was inspired by early Ottoman hammams (public baths), which were typically cube-shaped buildings crowned by a dome. The architect chose to transform this feature, inverting the dome over a cubic space gorged out of the ground, to create a concave circular roof.

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