folded agricultural complex doubles as bridge and public toilet in rural china

‘bridge’toilet’ by FMD blends into sichuan’s rural landscape 

Amid the farmlands of Gaoqiao village in China‘s Sichuan Province, the Bridge-Toilet by local office Fengmao Architectural Design (FMD) is part of a rural revitalization initiative celebrating bamboo culture and industry. The project effectively rises next to the Yichangxing Hundred Mile Green Bamboo Corridor, pairing farmers’ physiological needs for public toilets with leisure spaces, tool storage, eco-technologies, and agricultural tourism and production to form a holistic complex.

folded agricultural complex doubles as bridge and public toilet in rural china
all images © Zhang Yuanrong (unless stated otherwise)

connecting roads, supporting local needs 

FMD approached the Bridge-Toilet project by following the concept of ‘connecting and supporting’. On the one hand, the complex needs to creatively accommodate farmers’ daily needs and functional facilities for tourists. On the other hand, the practice must adapt to the site’s angular layout, whereby the farmland nestles between the roads at a height of four meters. In light of those conditions and needs, FMD combined a bridge structure with public toilets to connect the road system while meeting the functional requirements of all users.

folded agricultural complex doubles as bridge and public toilet in rural china
Bridge-Toilet by FMD nestles amid a lush farmland

a three-dimensional folded volume made of bamboo + concrete

Design-wise, the complex takes on a three-dimensional folded shape, self-supporting itself to create a link between both roads. The edges of the bridge curl outward on opposite ends to meet the main building facade before closing off into two planters that greet visitors at the entrance. Both male and female toilets are set on the upper floor and arranged in a folding interval. ‘Within a reasonable bridge deck width, it not only ensures the connection of pedestrian flow lines on both sides of the bridge but also meets visitors’ functional requirements. At the same time, a rhythmic virtual and real effect is formed inside the toilet,’ writes the practice. 

folded agricultural complex doubles as bridge and public toilet in rural china
doubling as a connective structure and public restrooms

The lower level is equipped with a family bathroom, an accessible bathroom, and a storage room for agricultural tools. The roof and toilet levels are connected through stairs on both sides at three different elevations. Complementing the space is a continuous wall surface of green tiles that extends to the roof, designed as a viewing platform. Meanwhile, two levels of circular portholes are set on the outer wall surface: the upper flat circular window provides lighting and viewing points for adults, and the lower convex bubble window provides children with an interesting space for observation and play.

The outer side of the Bridge-Toilet is made of rough bamboo formwork concrete walls completed by local workers, while the inner side is made of smooth, locally produced green tiles, creating an inviting contrast. During construction, local materials and active cooperation with local workers and bamboo craftsmen are utilized to promote rural revitalization in China through on-site construction.

folded agricultural complex doubles as bridge and public toilet in rural china
the road edgess curve outward to reach the front facade

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