Futuristic rainwater-recycling toilets designed for San Francisco

US architect Smith Group plans has won a competition to design a useful piece of public art by combining a vending kiosk with a toilet that uses rainwater to flush its bowl and feed the plants on its green roof.

The competition was organised by the San Francisco Department of Public Works, which is planning to replace the city’s old Parisian-style public loos with something more in keeping with the Silicon Valley aesthetic. The Smith Group’s AmeniTREES concept fitted the bill by offering curvaceous glass and metal pods that can either be used as a lavatory or a vending kiosk. 

Both designs come with planted roofs and a water recycling system that collects rain to help clean the interior, flush the toilets or water the plants. The vending pods open up to display its wares, and its skin can be used for either static or dynamic public information and advertising displays.

Despite the complexity of the pods’ form, Smith Group says they are simple to build and maintain: "The pavilions’ unique sculptural shape displays a sense of complexity, yet, the kit of parts assembly is simple having been composed of repeated and rotated panels."

Images courtesy of Smith Group

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  1. It will never capture enough rainwater to flush toilets and keep a tree alive.

  2. Fun pavilion. I presume that hand drying is covered by hot air, but I am concerned about where the sanitary waste will end up..? Sadly neglected subject which usually results in some very awkward afterthoughts.

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