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Public Works selects final design for new ‘spaceship’-like public restrooms

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Architectural firm SmithGroupJJR created a curved, mirrored design topped by plants for San Francisco’s public toilets. (Courtesy image)

The City has chosen a new design for its public toilets, and as some are saying, they look like “spaceships.”

Architectural firm SmithGroupJJR designed the curved, mirrored public loos, which are topped by plants in conceptual designs.

Public Works selected the final design after a round of “community input” including more than 200 individual responses online for what the agency called a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to upgrade San Francisco’s 25 public toilets and 114 public kiosks.

This being San Francisco, the design was settled by a vote, with the jury comprised of Public Works staffers, San Francisco Arts Commission staffers, the Port of San Francisco and Historic Preservation Commission, as well as a panel of design and architectural experts. Though the design was approved by jury and community input, it’s not the final design, which will be developed over the next few months, according to Public Works, in partnership with JCDecaux street furniture company.

Final designs and construction documents are expected by “mid-summer,” according to Public Works, at which point they’ll go before the San Francisco Arts Commission and Historic Preservation Commission.

“SmithGroupJJR’s design is forward-thinking, combining natural elements and environmental sustainability with modern technology and materials,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru in a press statement. But our sister newspaper, SF Weekly, an alt-weekly known to speak its mind, had a different opinion of the public toilet designs.

“Our city infrastructure is finally catching up to our sleek, tech-centric aesthetic,” the paper wrote, dubbing them “new spaceship-like toilets.”

So if you flush it, does it fly to the moon?

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