status / concept 2012
design / menthol architects
photos courtesy of Ewa Cabaj

public building

A design for compact and environmentally friendly public toilets with kiosk. The proposed building with integrated elements like greenery, sitting bench, bicycle parking and a kiosk / information center is a compact urban furniture and it will be interesting complement to the Rondo Mogilskie in Krakow.


A simple cubical form refers to the linear geometry of the plaza. Twisted side walls are continuing existing lines and are opening the building towards the square. The front stone wall with vertical projections of glass is a delicate separation between inside and outside. At the same time it is a backdrop for the tram stop and termination of the southern edge of the plaza. Back wall surface is minimised as it's enclosed by exisitng earth slope.


Verticallicty of the Krakow's gothic and modernist architecture together with the Art Nouveau detailing were the inspiration for the building's facade. Sculptular front wall is formed by vertically stacked graphite sandstone blocks and frozen glass windows with blue band frame. Vertical divisions reflect the perspective, movement and variation of light and shadow in the city. Simple stone blocks and their texture refers to the ruins of the Port Mogilski.

Shorter elevations form pockets which open buidling onto the square and create functional canopy over the entrance to toilets and kiosk with tourist information. Those elevations are made of colored concrete with decorative reliefs. The idea of ​​creating perspective frames underlined by blue colors and wooden cladding has been introduced into the interior in the entrance zones and skylights.


The project introduces a number of ecological solutions such as:

-natural materials
The proposed materials are natural, durable, weather resistant and easy to clean.

-solar collectors and photovoltaic panels
Installation of solar and photovoltaic panels on the roof reduces costs associated with lighting and water heating, as well as supports the ventilation system with heat recovery. Number of solar panels can be adjusted to the required power.

-natural lighting
Skylights and glazed wall slots are used to reduce need for artificial lighting.

-heat recovery
A mechanical ventilation system comprises a central high efficient MHRV unit. The system will recover up to 95% of the heat usually lost in the process of normal ventilation with air handling unit and no heat recovery. Supply air and exhaust air passes through two cross-exchangers where heat is transferred/recovered.

The greneery pots placed on the roof increase the amount of green in the city, absorb water and provide the ability to change the image of the building during the year through the use of various plant compositions with seasonal greenery and flowers or year-round shrubs or ivy. Rainwater is channeled into a special cavity in the roof which is watering plants.

-rainwater harvesting
Taps and urinals flushing are controlled automatically which results in efficient use of water. Rainwater from the roof flows into the reservoir located below ground level from where it is re-used for flushing toilets and urinals.