Perth, Australia

Since 2008, Australia has been a cautious bystander to the worldwide recession, and the city of Perth in Western Australia has pressed ahead with several major building projects, including a new 45-story office tower and plans for a six-star, 500-room luxury hotel in the city’s outskirts. Construction has continued in the public sector as well, with projects including a $600,000 face-lift on a nearly 700-square-foot public restroom alongside an art gallery and library. The new restroom, which opened in October 2011 and was dubbed the “Loouvre,” was designed by Perth-based Coniglio Ainsworth Architects as part of a city-sponsored program to renew public spaces in the aging Perth Cultural Centre precinct.

The city’s initial proposal called for simply refurbishing the run-down and often-vandalized public toilets, which are located in a building that houses stairs and elevators for an underground parking garage. But the architects saw an opportunity to rethink the restrooms and to connect with the cultural precinct and art gallery nearby. “Although it is just a toilet project, its setting deserved a better and more rigorous design response,” says Andrew Ainsworth, the project’s director.

To integrate the space with its surroundings, the architects installed windows and skylights—an unorthodox design strategy for a public restroom. City officials were skeptical about the windows at first, but the architects addressed that by orienting them so passersby could not look in. Three windows, two in the women’s restroom and one in the men’s, were carefully positioned to take advantage of views of the library and a public garden. The architects also embedded custom LED uplighting in the skylights to play off the Corian-clad walls and ceiling. Except for the windows, the exterior of the building was unchanged. “The existing geometry was a big driver for us,” says Ainsworth.

The architects also convinced the city to include artwork in the project. The neighboring gallery and the city donated a total of nine works that were photographed and digitally printed on Laminex Customart panels. Since the restroom opened, vandalism has decreased dramatically. “Hopefully, that is the architecture doing its job,” says Ainsworth.


Formal name of building:
Cultural Centre Amenities

2 Roe Street, Northbridge. Perth, Western Australia

Completion Date:
October 2011

Gross square footage:

Total construction cost:
$580,000 (AUD ex GST)

City of Perth

Coniglio Ainsworth Architects
Suite 11, 186 Hay Street Subiaco, 6153
P (08) 9382 3298
F (08) 9382 3537

Special credit:
Andrew Ainsworth ' Project Director (Registered); Matthew Coniglio ' Project Team (Registered); Jonathan Scull ' Project Team; Blair Ginbey ' Project Team; Mark McKenna ' Project Team

Hydraulic Consultant: Hutchinson Associates
Electrical Consultant: Hegney Consulting
Mechanical Consultant: Steve Dunford & Associates
Structural Consultant: BG & E
Quantity Surveyor: WT Partnership

General contractor:
Palace Homes - Builder
Plumb Construction & Design - Other (Cladding Substrate & Framing Subcontractor)
Australian Counter Top - Other (Corian Cladding Subcontractor)
Rynat Industries Australia - Other (Toilet Partitions)
SMB Electrical Services - Other (Electrical Subcontractor)

Trasko Industrial Photographics
Johnathan Trask

Robert Johnson Photography
Robert Johnson

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Autodesk - AutoCAD



Natural anodized aluminum framing by Alspec

Alucobond Brilliant Metallic 602 cladding to window surrounds (shrouds):
Glass: 10.38mm laminated safety glass by CSR Viridian with anti-graffiti film
Skylights: Ampelite Brownbuilt 406 Skylights

Door: Painted solid core doors with glazed viewing panels
Frame: Polished Stainless steel

Locksets: Door Hardware by Parker Black & Forrest Pty Ltd
Closers: Dorma CD80 Auto Swing Operator to Unisex Accessible WC
Other special hardware: Flush Mount security reed switches — Altronics Part no. S5158B) to Male, Female and Unisex Accessible Toilet entry doors.

Interior finishes
Demountable partitions: (Toilet Partitions)
Male & Female WC’s
WC Frontal panels - Material: Laminex
Name: Laminex Innovations Partitioning System
Colour: From Laminex colour range ' Innovations compact laminate ' “Electro Silver”
Thickness: 13mm

WC Door panels ' (Front of door only, back of door is customart)
Material: Laminex
Name: Laminex Innovations Partitioning System
Colour: From Laminex colour range ' Innovations compact laminate ' “Electro Silver”
Thickness: 13mm

WC Divisional panels ' (one side of panel only, other side is customart except for two panels which are double sided customart)
Material: Laminex Fusion customart
Name: Laminex Innovations Partitioning System
Colour: From Laminex colour range ' Innovations compact laminate - “Electro Silver”
Thickness: 13mm

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Corian Clad Cabinetwork
12mm DuPont Corian (Colour: Cameo White - Finish: Matt Satin)

Paints and stains:

Corian Clad Walls
12mm DuPont Corian (Colour: Cameo White - Finish: Matt Satin)

Floor Tiling:
Ceramic Tiles - Mosaic 50x50 uni by Original Ceramics (Colour: Super Black, Finish: Matt) on Ardex screed and waterproofing membrane

Toilet Roll Holder (Male and Female WC cubicles)
Kimberly Clark
120mm (W) x 117mm (D) x 467mm (H)
Toilet paper dispenser Model 4405
Satin Stainless steel

Toilet Roll Holder (Unisex Accessible WC)
Kimberly Clark
120mm (W) x 117mm (D) x 467mm (H)
Toilet paper dispenser Model 4405
Satin Stainless steel

Handrails (Unisex Accessible WC)
Satin polished Stainless Steel handrails by Parker Black and Forrest

Robe Hooks (Male/Female/ Unisex Accessible WC)
Laminex rubber tipped Door Stop and Coat Hook (Satin Stainless Steel)

Sharps Cupboards (Male/Female/Unisex Accessible WC)
Custom Corian Clad stainless steel sharps dispenser
(12mm DuPont Corian, Colour: Cameo White, Finish: Matt Satin)

Interior ambient lighting: High power IP67 LED strip cool white 6500k colour temperature (supplier: HALO lighting)
Dimming System or other lighting controls: Dynalite Control System and lighting timer

Female & Male Toilet: Caroma Wall Faced Invisi Series II Suite

Universally Accessible Toilet: Caroma Care 800 Invisi II Toilet Suite

Female & Male WC: Custom Corian clad basins by Australian Counter Top

Universally Accessible Toilet: Caroma Cube wall basin vitreous china wall basin

Female & Male WC: Presto 2000S chrome plated timed flow tap

Universally Accessible Toilet: Presto 2000S chrome plated timed flow tap

Other appliances:
Hand Dryer to Unisex Accessible WC:
Manufacturer: Britex
Size: 361mm H x 340mm W x 153mm D
Model No.: BTX-2200SA(R)
Finish: Grade 304 Stainless Steel

Hand Driers to Male and Female WC:
307mm H x 230mm W x 112mm D
JDM-SEL-HD (fully recessed)
Grade 304 Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Linear Slot Diffusers ' Custom design

Switches Clipsal 2000 Series