I was intrigued to see the transformation, in England, of an old, derelict, semi-underground public toilet into a private home. The Telegraph reports:
When the architect Laura Clark told friends and family that she was planning to live in an underground former public lavatory in south-east London, responses ranged from hilarity to horror along with quite a few polite inquiries as to the state of her mental health. ‘I was known as Laura Toilets for a while,’ she says laughing. And there were moments during the project’s lengthy gestation when Clark questioned her own sanity.
. . .
In the middle of 2011 Clark found herself the proud owner of the underground public conveniences, built in 1929, last used some time in the 1980s and now filled thigh-high with rubbish.
She lost no time in getting stuck in, working alongside builders and labourers in order to transform the dank and frankly creepy space into a bright and airy home. ‘I ended up doing a lot of the labouring work myself, because it was such horrid, hard work that I struggled to keep people on the job,’ she says. ‘And filling skips is character-building.’ For Clark, who fights mixed martial arts at semi-professional level, it was also good strength training. She even persuaded one of her sparring partners to help out with a sledge-hammer on the grounds that it would be good for their game. Remarkably, the entire project cost only £65,000 [about US $102,500]. ‘But in fairness, I did have many years to work it all out,’ she says.
Today it is hard to imagine that the light-filled one-bedroom flat, with its streamlined shelves, glamorous gold-leaf bathroom and subterranean garden, was once a derelict public convenience.
There are clues though. The tiles that form the splashback in the kitchen were reclaimed from the site’s original use, as was a mirror in the living-room. And propped on a kitchen shelf is a small public health poster warning of the perils of VD. But still, for Clark, this is home.
There's more at the link, as well as a gallery of photographs of the conversion process and the transformed home.
Isn't it amazing what a little imagination, a sense of design, and an artistic mind can accomplish? I'd never have thought of converting a semi-underground public convenience into a private home!