Pause Restrooms

Pause Restrooms, Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Bombay-Goa Highway
Architect: RC Architects

Citation Note:

Pause Restrooms is a facility building primarily designed for truck drivers who need pitstops to rest and refresh on long and tedious journeys across India. Simple, crisp and visually distinct in red, the restroom complex presents both – programmatic innovation and good design for a typology that is omnipresent and yet, mostly uninspiring.

Apart from addressing the immediate functional demand of the washrooms designed for a client who owns a fuel pump, the building carefully weaves supplementary functions that enable the users to rest, have a shave, wash clothes, take a shower and interact with fellow drivers. This integration of supporting services extends a certain integrity to the space and to the people who use the facility.

The building is immaculately well-detailed using common-place, pragmatic ideas and some fastidious sectional innovations. The choice of materials, colour and the selection of fixtures contribute to the ideas of longevity and the architecture anticipates duly wear and tear over time. The plan – simply organised – is efficient and frugal. RC Architects has employed clever detailing to resolve basic concerns, especially issues of odour and other unpleasantries that disfeature a trip to a public washroom.

In India, small and essential infrastructure such as public washrooms largely lack design and critical thinking in their implementation. By employing prototype thinking and design clarity, the Pause Restrooms designed by RC Architects not only proposes a replicable model for India’s highway stops, but also prompts designers to consider the role of design in enabling civic dignity and therefore, this project is a citation project in The Merit List.

Photographs by Hemant Patil, Rohan Chavan