Invisible Studio designs composting toilet for woodland workshop

Invisible Studio designs composting toilet for its own woodland workshop

This long-drop composting toilet by Invisible Studio provides facilities for the practice's self-built woodland workshop, and was built using offcuts from that project.

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Invisible Studio founder Piers Taylor recruited a team of unskilled volunteers and friends to build the toilet from materials scavenged from the surrounding woodland. This meant the toilet could be delivered for free.

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The stilted structure is set over a steep slope near the studio building. It has a dark exterior composed of fibre-cement tiles and a door made from vibrant red polycarbonate sheeting.

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The structure is made from recycled materials as well as unseasoned timber grown collected from the site around the research facility, which is located in the English countryside near Bath.

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Some materials were salvaged from skips, donated by neighbours or left over from the design of the adjacent workshop – which was built from recycled materials with the help of friends, neighbours and colleagues.

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A timber jetty leads out to the tiny two-square-metre toilet, which has an irregularly pitched roof that overhangs the door. The chipboard panels forming it are left exposed inside and used to suspend a single lantern.

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Instructions for correct usage are scrawled onto a blackboard on the wall behind the toilet seat.

Waste material is filtered in a soakaway on the slope below, and collected for later use as fertiliser.

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Invisible Studio applied the same recycling concept to create a pair of woodland maintenance buildings at the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, England. The gabled blocks were made using only trees felled in the routine maintenance of the estate, which hosts a collection of 15,000 trees originating from China, North America, Japan, Chile, and Britain.

Dutch architect Rolf Bruggink also used scrap material, from a disused office, to transform a 19th-century coach house in Utrecht into a modern home.