It’s rare that a restroom is worthy of mention, much less a public one. But fortunately for San Francisco, Paulett Taggart’s new facility for the city’s Washington Square Park in North Beach is a lovely exception.
The 700-square-foot structure, paid for by a 2012 bond to upgrade Recreation and Park facilities, is clad in shiplapped concrete that resembles the shingles of the neighborhood’s nearby houses. It is inserted with cedar soffits and topped with a perforated screen clerestory that allows natural ventilation during the day and daylight to filter in, making the building also glow at night. Inside, colorful tile contrasts with the cool concrete, as does the cedar, which is located high enough that it cannot be damaged.
The building is modern and hospitable, and was warmly received by the community in a neighborhood usually wary of change.
“We wanted a safe and welcoming structure that was attractive and sturdy, but didn’t call too much attention to itself,” said Taggart.