Toilet with an artistic facade
The City of Lidköping’s venerable central square needed a public toilet, but the surroundings meant the options were limited. The solution was a work of art with a highly functional core.
Though the open space at the heart of Lidköping goes by the name New City Square, it is anything but a newcomer. The square dates from the 17th century, and is of national historic preservation interest.
“It’s a sensitive environment,” says City Architect Anders Hansson. “If you want to change anything, you have to take care.”
However, there was no question that the square needed a public toilet. The city decided to solve the potentially controversial equation with a unique building that not only gives residents a place to relieve themselves by also provides an artistic experience linked to the history of the city.
For many years, Lidköping was home to one of Sweden’s most highly regarded porcelain and ceramics manufacturers, Rörstrand, which still produces tile and ceramics on a small scale in the city. Selecting a Tetragon 110 covered with a special type of panel enabled the facade to be decorated with locally produced tile.
“We needed a substrate that would stand up to both moisture and heavy weight, and it was no problem,” says Henrik Gustafsson, a project manager for the City of Lidköping’s real estate department. “Danfo designed the building according to our wishes.”
Artist Astrid Sylwan, who has worked with the porcelain factory in Lidköping on other projects, and whose work appears in Stockholm’s new underground stations, was commissioned to design the tile. And thus the city square gained an attractive new artwork and a public convenience at a single go. The artist was given a free hand and drew inspiration both locally and from Morocco in creating the wall. The result is popular with both decision-makers and city residents, and the toilet is now an attractive element of the traditional city environment.
“We are very pleased with the results,” says Anders Hansson. “The toilet is an ornament to the city.”