Patrick Jouin took great care to fit the new generation of outdoor public toilets into the existing decor of the city. For the exterior design, he found inspiration in Hector Guimard’s Art Nouveau entrances to Paris’ underground metro stations. The result is a graceful curve at the top of the sanisette that terminates in an overarching roof, providing some shelter for persons waiting outdoors in the rain.
For the interior design, he first commissioned a study to determine how people use a public toilet and what might be the source of their reluctance to use one. The interior of the new >sanisette takes into account many of the concerns that were revealed by the study. For example, it is more roomy than the old model, and the roof is translucent, allowing natural lighting to filter in. Many subtle changes were incorporated, including the positioning of the toilet on the sidewalk, out of the flow of pedestrian traffic.
Like the old model, the new one is self-cleaning after each use (the toilet bowl retracts and is washed, and the floor is washed).
The success of his design will be measured by the public acceptance of the units, especially by women, who were reluctant to use the old model. I used a new sanisette recently and found the experience, including such simple tasks as soaping, washing, and drying hands, much more agreeable than my experience with the old model, some of which still exist in neighborhoods around the city.