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Wroclaw has set its sights on unique toilets!

18 of February '22
Technical data


Poland, Wroclaw


Joanna Styrylska, Agnieszka Kotschy, Magdalena Dymna, Patrycja Jędra, Tomasz Boniecki.

Mosaic authors:

Agnieszka Kotschy (ISBA), Patrycja Jędra (ISBA), Anita Szprych (UNICAT), Michał Chabielski (UNICAT)


Urban Greenery Management in Wroclaw




Stanisław Zajączkowski

The Wrocław Urban Greenery Management Board has completed eleven self-service public toilets in the city since 2018. What sets them apart from other sanitary buildings? The unusual form and solutions of the facade, which instead of trying to hide, they try to stand out. The designs were made by ISBA Grupa Projektowa together with artists from the Unicat studio.

toaleta przy Polanie

The restroom at the Karlowicka Glade

photo by Stanislaw Zajączkowski, © ISBA Grupa Projektowa

an (un)embarrassing subject

Urban toilets are often considered an integral part of the urban landscape, while at the same time one that needs to be hidden. Sanitary facilities such as toilets are counted among what Aleksandra Wasilkowska called shadowarchitecture - elements that we deny, although we cannot avoid them.

The Board of Urban Greenery in Wroclaw decided to complete the map of Wroclaw's toilets. The facilities are self-service, round-the-clock and unisex. They have been established since 2018 in parks, squares and plazas - city residents participate in the selection of the location. It is important that everyone can use them, including people with disabilities.

toaleta przy ulicy

Toilet on Tymiankova Street

Photo: Stanislaw Zajączkowski, © ISBA Grupa Projektowa

The form of the toilets has been standardized - each of them has been enclosed in an oval form made as a prefabricated composite concrete. Green roofs were used to improve retention and prevent surface heating.

appropriate graphic design

The designers wanted to create an appropriate graphic setting for the facade of the toilets - one that would distinguish the building and give it an individual character. They opted for two types of solutions, which were created by the ISBA design group in cooperation with the Unicat studio.

The first solution is to cover the facade with stainless steel or Cortne sheet metal. As the architects point out, this solution is used for more wooded spaces or those under conservation protection. In some implementations, the facilities are additionally covered with a layer of mesh to provide support for climbing plants such ivy, which will allow the toilet to blend in even more with the surroundings.

Toaleta w parku Górka

A toilet in the park's Górka Skarbowców

photo by Stanislaw Zajączkowski, © ISBA Grupa Projektowa

The second solution - a more creative one - is to cover each toilet with a mosaic made of small square-shaped ceramic elements. The mosaics are meant to refer to the names of squares, squares, streets, as well as to local Wroclaw legends. This type of facade is to refer in its aesthetic forms to book illustrations from fairy tales and fables, well known from childhood.

searching for forms

Eleven toilets have been built as part of an investment by the Wroclaw Urban Greenery Board, two of which are under construction. The toilets taken care of by ZZM are not only to adapt to the space, but to be an integral part of it. The proverbial shadow architecture - in this case dictated by physiological considerations - will cease to be regarded as an element to be stuffed somewhere, and will become a full-fledged part of the landscape.

projekt toalety do parku

Design of a toilet for Mammoth Park

© ISBA Grupa Projektowa

developed by Wiktor Bochenek

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