Power Toilets

NEZU AYMO architects en tant que Architectes.

An abstract grey box with a neutral, nondescript shape is standing on the beach in the new recreation area Park van Luna in Heerhugowaard. POWER TOILETS: the result of a collaboration between Danish artists Superflex and NEZU AYMO architects from Amsterdam. The interior is a precise copy of the lavatories used by the members of the United Nations Security Council in New York. The UN headquarters is a highly secured building, and no information can be obtained about its interior. Consequently, our reconstruction is based entirely on photos taken secretly with a mobile phone by an ex-UN staff member.

We applied the exact same materials and detailing as in the UN toilets - marble division walls, stainless steel doors, yellow ceramic tiles, anthracite mosaic floor tiles. American Standard toilets and urinals were specially imported from the US. Equipment and fittings - toilet roll holders, coat racks, lamps and hinges - were rebuilt to every detail. The chair and sofa in the women’s vanity space were reconstructed in fiberglass and steel by a sculptor. Only natural daylight is used: 10 roof lights connected to seemingly standard ceiling fixtures recreate the original lighting conditions of a completely internal room.

Power Toilets are an art piece and a functional public toilet building alike. When entering the toilets in Heerhugowaard, you get the feeling of being in another time and place, due to the 50’s materialization and equipment. The United Nations represent the power from which peace and individual rights are protected and maintained. Power Toilets distribute this idea of power and question hierarchical structures by making the most unpublic spaces of this power structure public. With the Power Toilets, bathers and water-skiers at the Park van Luna are free to use the same toilets as the world’s most powerful leaders.

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