The green leafy mature trees of the park and the playground geometry and colours are drivers of this site specific expression for these buildings.
Integrating three toilets and a pump room for the splash pad into Cornwall Park was part of an overall council redevelopment project that saw the playground, splash pad, recreation areas and pathways upgraded. Placed in the centre of activity, and on a main pathway, these toilets are on full display and become an important visual element in the park.
Split into two separate forms to reduce their bulk, each is given a non-rectilinear shape and are placed 'randomly' in response to the new playground. One faces the splash pad and playground and the other addresses the main pathway and the lawn that hosts concerts and events. The gap between the two forms allows for circulation between and views connecting these two quite different parts of the park. Each view from the park offers a front and a back of the buildings, ensuring that from all directions the group faces park users.
Building on design elements and ideas from other public space toilets we have developed with council over the past five years, these new ones are intended to be recognisable as part of this family of facilities in the city. At Cornwall Park these design ideas are given new form and expression.
The green leafy mature trees of the park and the playground geometry and colours are drivers of this site specific expression for these buildings. The leaf motifs cast into the concrete walls root them to this place and inject fun and sculpture to the park. Rather than making the leaves green they are left as the negative space with a clear Resene Uracryl finish to the precast concrete panels, with the panel faces painted Resene Dell, a dense bright green, to give a strong graphic image while expressing a tree canopy feel. The playground equipment is quite colourful with an orange used in parts and this was taken through to the toilet interior with selected walls finished in Resene Brandy Punch to enliven these spaces and to contrast with the texture of the concrete seen through the clear coating. Resene Dell on the exterior was also continued onto selected interior walls.
The ply lined ceiling floats above the walls and this has been stained in Resene Colorwood Ironbark to bring out the grain and clear coated to add a depth and warmth and to express timber to add to the green of the tree canopy.
External doors were finished in Resene Tory Blue.
Having precast concrete that is to be left clear coated in a project makes for a nervous time during construction until that coating is applied. Sure enough one morning the contractor arrived to livid pink dayglo tagging on some of the panels and after a call to the local Resene representative to ask how to save the day and what products to use to remove it, he whipped down there and did it himself. Legend.
Being a public toilet probably the most important consideration in design is robustness and an ability to detract vandalism but when the inevitable happens, that graffiti can be removed without damage. Resene Uracryl was the obvious solution. Concrete panels were sealed with Resene Aquapel and then topcoated in Resene Uracryl, both clear and pigmented. The ply soffit was treated the same and was coated in Resene Uracryl after staining.
This project won a Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award. The judges said "this project raises the bar for public space amenities with its combination of colour and design. The hero hue and leaf motif are a careful balance of being bold enough to be a wayfinding device at distance while still being at one with the wider park surrounds. So well designed, well coloured and simply gorgeous."
Architectural specifier: Brent Scott, Citrus Studio Architecture
Building contractor: Tims Construction
Client: Hastings District Council
Painting contractor: Steve Olsen Decorator
Playground designers: Creo
Winner: Resene Total Colour Commercial Exterior Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2020
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