When you got to go, go to Kawakawa
The quirky and colourful Kawakawa public toilets are a tourist attraction, writes David Bowden
the funds for the new park wouldn’t take long at all.
HUNDERTWASSER VIENNESE HOME Before he relocated to New Zealand, the ageing hippie Hundertwasser was commissioned to redesign some council apartmentsinhishometownofVienna, theAustrian capital.
The area was an unassuming part of Landstrasse and Vienna’s third largest residential district that was transformed from an urban wasteland into what is now known as Hundertwasserhaus.
These higgledy-piggledy houses have a child-like appearance of colourful textures that immediately captured the attention of all who came to see it (and still do).
The only ones not too happy about it were architects who saw them as too artistic but like Gaudi in Barcelona, the academics have been proven wrong.
People love the zaniness of Hundertwasser’s creation.
They came in droves and started to drive the locals crazy by asking for personal inspections of the interiors of the apartments but it was only the exterior that Hundertwasser marked his territory.
However, he obliged and erected the Kalke Village just opposite the apartments, and with a cafe, bar and information cen- tre, admirers could appreciate his creation without disturbing the residents.
Now it’s appropriate, since we have already come to grips with talking about private matters in public about the convenience of toilets.
Imagine life without toilets and imagine travel without at least one horrific toilet experience to share at your next dinner party.
In days gone by, toilets were on the outside of buildings but they eventually made it indoors, thanks to an invention by Thomas Crapper (and no; I’m not making this up).
I have Bill Bryson and his fascinating book At Home to thank for this insightful observation.
Young Crapper was an apprentice plumber in London who invented the cistern for the flushing toilet.
Bryson notes that this was called the Marlboro Silent Water Waste Preventer which conveniently removed wastes from the interior of buildings into the sewer.
Famous people lend their name to public buildings, parks, streets and monuments all over the world and while naming rights to a public toilet may not be what most of With such design, you won’t miss the Hundertwasser public toilets in Kawakawa; What’s inside the Hundertwasser public toilet.
Hundertwasser’s houses in Vienna.
us aspire to, Hundertwasser appears to be happy that the jewel in his artistic and design crown is his colourful toilet block in the centre of this small town.
In Kawakawa, he created his bit of paradise, surrounded by trees, waters and humble, simple buildings.
He was quoted as saying: “We live in paradise, but we don’t know it. We live in paradise, but we constantly destroy it.”
Next time you’re passing through Kawakawa, drop by and check out Hundertwasser’s handiwork. Share a bit of the magic that he created. You will be flushed with happiness after your visit.