Although “there’s no place like home” – the thought of using a public toilet facility doesn’t seem so bad when it’s in a smart design with clean lines surrounded by beautiful landscape.
Green roofs in Kansas City are impacting the economy as well as the environment in a positive way. In early 2009 the City of Kansas City, MO expressed interest in converting an existing green roof in the Power & Light District above Constantino’s Market parking garage into a revenue generating multi-purpose outdoor event space. Although sedum fields and concrete walking paths were installed during the initial build, pedestrian lighting and public toilet facilities were not in the budget. The lack of these features made the City’s proposed enhanced use of the green space difficult to achieve due to code regulated occupancy requirements.
Pendulum Studio was retained by the Cordish Company and tasked with developing several concepts that would comply with code requirements, accommodate heavy daily use, and be ready for occupancy by the spring of 2010. Our initial design methodology was geared toward a partially off-grid modular solution – constructing the building in two pieces off site then hoisting them into place by crane. Although this approach was intriguing to all parties involved, it was decided that a more traditional “bricks & mortar” approach was most appropriate for this application. One of the keys to our design solution was the selection of materials and colors inside and out that would withstand public use but avoid looking institutional. We achieved this by incorporating SIL-LEED cementitious board on the exterior. It’s gold color contrasted by the adjacent dark metal cladding compliments the limestone and glass buildings in the background. The use of soft colored subway tiles accented by charcoal banding and strategically placed lighting on the interior gives off a warm and inviting vibe.
Although we did not implement our modular concept on this project, we have not given up on our quest. In fact, this rooftop project is really a predecessor to our shipping container based modular toilet facility soon to be completed. We are now working toward the delivery of four new off-grid modules equipped with solar cells, battery storage, and rain water collection for a municipal client at 50% of the hard construction cost of the traditional “bricks & mortar” method. Stay tuned for more info in an upcoming issue of Pen & Ink.
Photographs by Iiams Images
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