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Updated: Nov 28, 2022




TOTO, the leading Japanese sanitary ware company, announces a new addition to its exhibition in London with the latest project recently completed by Tomohito Ushiro.

Tomohito Ushiro’s design includes 768 LED lights which randomly create 7.9 billion patterns, the same number as the world’s population, illuminat­ing the space and surroundings whilst creating a unique installation that is a hybrid between public art and functional design. Many of THE TOKYO TOILET Projects have light-filled spaces; how the architects and crea­tors light these bathroom spaces to be comfortable and inviting is one of the key tenets of the project.

To mark the occasion TOTO in Clerkenwell is hosting a talk around Light & Architecture, where guest speakers include: architect, James Dilley, Director, Jestico + Whiles; Keith Bradshaw, CEO, Speirs Major and Coralie Lew, Senior Interior Designer, Feix & Merlin Architects. Moderating the event is Ellie Stathaki, Architectural Editor, Wallpaper magazine. The talk invites discussion about the synergy of good lighting and its importance in bathrooms whether in hospitality or public spaces, inspired by the innovative use of lighting in THE TOKYO TOILET Projects.

Speakers below from Left to right: Coralie Lew, Feix & Merlin Architects; James Dilley, Jestico + Whiles; Ellie Stathaki and Keith Bradshaw, Speirs Major.

THE TOKYO TOILET (an initiative of The Nippon Foundation) now features 13 exemplary projects by leading architects and designers including works by Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, NIGO®, Kazoo Sato amongst many others. This unique project is being exhibited at TOTO in Clerkenwell, London.

Here visitors can discover original and innovative projects that aim to improve the daily life of residents and visitors 24 hours a day. The architects and designers have done this by creating light-filled spaces with universal and fully accessible designs where hygiene and comfort play a pivotal role. These are toilets like you have never seen before.


Japan is one of the world’s cleanest countries. Even the public toilets here have a higher standard of hygiene than in other places. Nonetheless, people try to avoid using them as many are considered dark, dirty and scary. To dispel these misconceptions, the city government in Shibuya – one of Tokyo’s 23 districts – started working with the Nippon Foundation in 2020 to build new public toilets or renovate existing ones. The 17 small structures were designed by 16 renowned architects and designers. They all feature modern, inviting architecture and hygienic, accessible sanitary facilities. This is also an expression of Japan’s world-renowned hospitality culture or Omotenashi – in this case, people think about ensuring that the toilet is clean and fresh for the next person to use. As Japan’s leading manufacturer of sanitary ware, TOTO is contributing its expertise to suggest fixtures and layouts in each toilet.

THE TOKYO TOILET Project wants visitors to enjoy a friendly, clean public toilet at any time or day or night. TOTO supported the creative minds on the project to explore what would make using a public toilet safe, simple and hygienic. Ensuring maximum accessibility was also important: All people should be able to use public toilets at any time, whatever their gender, age or physical limitations. It’s also important to ensure the highest possible standard of hygiene with the appropriate products and regular cleaning.

Extensive research – the perfectly equipped public toilet When working on the new concepts, TOTO explored what would make using a public toilet both safe and comfortable for people. An important aspect was ensuring that people with disabilities could use public toilets easily, including the consideration that those in wheelchairs need extra space. At the same time, bathroom stalls that are too large can be uncomfortable for the visually impaired. The studies also took into account the needs of parents with small children as well as the elderly. TOTO provided information about regular maintenance and cleaning, including details about sterile, antibacterial fixtures. In November 2022, 13 out 17 planned projects had been completed – including ones in Ebisu Park (architect: Masamichi Katayama Wonderwall), Jingu-Dori Park (architect: Tadao Ando) and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park (architect: Shigeru Ban). “We hope that the project will give international visitors the opportunity to experience a sense of Japanese hospitality. We also hope that we can introduce the culture of clean, comfortable toilets created by TOTO to the rest of the world,” read the statement from Satoshi Shirakawa, Executive Vice President and Representative Director TOTO Ltd.

Visit THE TOKYO TOILET Exhibition at TOTO

140-142 St John Street, London EC1V 4AU

An overview of THE TOKYO TOILET is available here:

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