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Bamboo toilet 'Toigetation' wins regional award for public service

By VnExpress   October 3, 2016 | 01:53 pm GMT+7

A school toilet offers students a green, clean way of dealing with the call of nature.

The Hanoi-based H&P Architects has won a top award for designing a bathroom for a school in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang where the majority of people live in poverty with poor sanitation and lack of clean water.

The whole idea of the project is to use local materials available on or near the site to build a low-cost toilet facility.

H&P Architects were looking for a budget solution that could be used across the country.

The architects said that it took three weeks and $3,000 to build the "Toigetation".

The project’s name “Toigetation” combines toilet and vegetation because of its bamboo structure covered in green vegetation.

"Inspired by the iconic image of a large tree with a wide canopy giving shade for the space below and within, Toigetation humbly blends into the slope at the foot of Phja Da mountain," said the firm in a statement.

The Toigetation aims to tackle a long-standing problem in Vietnam where at many schools, especially in remote areas, students have no access to well-equipped toilets or even a toilet at all. It is not uncommon for Vietnamese students to have to squat over stinking Vietnamese-style toilets with no cleaning jets of water or hand basins.

The toilet is enclosed by brick walls and covered by a bamboo framework so the structure is strong enough to stand hurricane-force winds in mountainous areas.

The project is environmentally-friendly with solar panels on the roof generating electricity for lighting at night and a water tank on the roof to collect rainwater.

The project, a joint effort between H&P Architects and UNICEF, won the Social Responsibility Award at the annual ceremony held by the Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) to encourage architects working in Asia to create projects that have a positive impact on the environment and promote cultural values.

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Photos by Doan Thanh Ha