A Public Convenience

Sarena Shah

Project description

The project is an exploration of the connection between people and dirty water in the city. It challenges the mechanised approach of current sanitation projects, aiming to make sanitation accessible at both an infrastructural scale and the scale of the public toilet. 

By adopting natural filtration methods, dirty water is treated as a resource rather than entering the sewage system, enabling citizens to question how they currently value dirty water as they move through the treatment processes happening in and around the building. 

The project title A Public Convenience is representative of the project’s ambition to deliver accessible sanitation in London, challenging the accessibility of cities without adequate public conveniences. Instead of focusing on the negative connotations associated with public toilets, the proposal aims to celebrate the typology, whilst still addressing questions of safety, funding, financial, and physical accessibility. 

Site location

Sarena Shah

Proposed Sixth Floor Plan

Sarena Shah

Sixth Floor Painted Plan

Sarena Shah

The Bathhouse

Sarena Shah

Tile Setting Out

Sarena is an architectural designer with an interest in creating accessible, resilient buildings, an approach informed by her time working with Article 25. Her thesis project is an investigation into ‘dirty water’ in the city. The project aims to create equitable sanitation within the city, underpinned by the belief that access to adequate sanitation is a human right, and that architecture has the potential to provide that.

Her design approach is guided by a respect for the existing context, informed by her work in practise of retrofit projects within listed buildings. Similarly, her design methodology is a considered response to the context and the people the architecture serves.