Day 52: Our Toilets are Famous

Hundertwasser ToiletsIf you head about two and a half hours North of Auckland on Highway 1, you will likely be confused and at a loss for words upon seeing a brown sign with the words “Hundertwasser Toilets” and an arrow pointing to the exit. And if you’re like us, you will have a few minutes of humorous repartee wondering why the town of Kawakawa advertises its toilets as points of interest (thus the brown sign). And then, if you continue to be like us, you will exit the highway and follow the arrow while searching the internet to figure out what is going on.

The internet and smart phones has changed the way we travel. So by the time we arrive at this wondrous point of interest in Kawakawa we know that Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser was a renowned architect who lived in the town from 1975 until his death in 2000. Hundertwasser was born in Austria and his family were Jewish. He was an artist as well as an architect and had a thing for color, undulating floors, wavy walls, patterns, textures, recycled materials, sculptures and nature.

And Hundertwasser of course designed the Hundertwasser Toilets – one of few toilet blocks seen as an international work of art according to Wikipedia. Which just makes you want to Google what other toilet blocks could be international works of art. Which of course I just did and that led to an article about 8 of the weirdest toilets in the world. Hundertwasser didn’t make the list but toilets in Wellington did!

But I digress. The Hundertwasser toilets are worth a quick stop and it is a functional public bathroom so you might as well. Wikipedia says the ”style is typical Hundertwasser, with wavy lines, irregular ceramic tiles, integrated small sculptures, coloured glass and a live tree incorporated into the architecture. I understand that this is the only work that he did in New Zealand as all of his other architecture is in other countries.

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And just when I thought my toilet blog was done, I found an article in the newspaper about New Zealand’s best toilets! It’s called ‘Toilet Spotting Across New Zealand and the World’. I especially love the first one.


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