B17_#166 // Underground Public Toilet // Oscar Maguire
In the 19th century, the UK government deemed it necessary to convenience the citizens of London by building public conveniences (or toilets). In Easter 2019, 19 years after Al Gore narrowly missed out on the opportunity to bring the inconvenient truth to bear as head of the US government, Extinction rebellion take to the streets (literally) in the hope that by thoroughly inconveniencing the aforementioned citizens of London they can force the aforementioned UK government to call a climate emergency. How convenient!
Is now the time that the derelict subterranean public conveniences, the architecture of ‘brush it under the carpet’, be appropriated as public inconvenience spaces? By enlarging the small glass bricks and creating an obstruction in the street, passers-by are compelled to peer down into a space for activists to display their inconvenient but vital messages.
Oscar Maguire is a RIBA Part 1 Assistant at Grimshaw Architects, and Graduate from the Bartlett School of Architecture.