Power Toilet / UN wins the Great Indoor Award 2011 against airports and train-stations.
Read what the jury said:
"A nondescript grey box on a beach in Heerhugowaard contains public toilets modelled on those used by members of the United Nations Security Council in New York, as reconstructed from smuggled mobile-phone images. The project’s has a dual identity: a contemporary art installation that doubles as a functional toilet."
"First prize in the Serve & Facilitate category goes to the makers of Power Toilets, a functional work of art on the Dutch coast, in the province of North Holland. Together with artists’ collective SUPERFLEX, Nezu Aymo Architects developed a project that adds a touch of quality and surprise to public space and a new significance to an otherwise anonymous facility. Based on mobile-phone photos, their public toilets are first-rate copies of those in one of the most heavily secured buildings in the world: the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. These designers make one of the most compelling statements available to those in the profession: their work transports the user to a place that is normally off limits to the general public. Power Toilets are a contemporary art installation that doubles as a functional toilet."
"Notable conclusions drawn from the winning projects: the artist is back, and nothing is stronger than a consistently executed idea. In the case of art, two of the four winning projects are the work of artists. Both Tatzu Nishi and SUPERFLEX, the latter in collaboration with Nezu Aymo Architects, appropriated a fragment of public space and bent it to their will. Seen as such, either of the two projects can be evaluated as any other piece of art occupying a public site. But these artists go a step further. They create works of art that, first and foremost, cater to a basic human need – people can answer nature’s call in SUPERFLEX’s toilets and get a good night’s sleep in Tatzu Nishi’s hotel – and subsequently address fundamental issues such as access, use, the relationship between private and public, and the desire for surprise and alienation. These are art projects that operate on multiple levels. In the eyes of the jury, they are confirmation that designers can still learn from artists, particularly when it comes to the way in which a project is reinterpreted and is given new layers of meaning that far transcend established notions of identity, luxury and functionality."
Read the full version of the Jury Report here: