- Jobe Corral Architects
The Festival Beach Restroom is a sculptural, open-air pavilion containing three toilets, a water fountain, and a concrete sink. The stalls are enclosed by cast-in-place concrete walls and shaded by an undulating roof made from glazed terra cotta tiles.
Situated among a grove of trees, this sculptural pavilion is a marker in the landscape, a place for shade, and a unique structure that belongs to the neighborhood. When the existing restroom near this location was identified for replacement as part of the Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park Master Plan, The Trail Foundation saw an opportunity for another installment in its series of signature restrooms designed by local architects.
Like the Miró Rivera Restroom, Johnson Creek Restroom, and Heron Creek Restroom, the Festival Beach Restroom is an open-air structure that combines design innovation with low-maintenance materials. The material palette of this particular pavilion was inspired by the structure it replaced, which featured tilt-up concrete walls, steel doors, and a terra cotta tile roof. But in contrast to that boxy bathroom, this structure uses concrete, steel, and terra cotta tile in ways that mimic the nearby water and trees.
From afar, the Festival Beach Restroom is characterized primarily by its two undulating roofs. Their leaf-like forms are an imaginative take on traditional Spanish terra cotta roofs, which are made up of alternating columns of convex and concave tiles (fun fact: originally the curve of these tiles was created by forming sheets of clay around the maker’s thigh). Known for their durability, terra cotta tiles are traditionally used on simple, sloped roofs. But their unique shape and method of assembly make them ideal for more organic, curvilinear forms. Moreover, the tiles can be glazed with a variety of colors—in this case vibrant blues that evoke the sky and water.
Additional design details are revealed upon closer inspection. A forest of columns supports the two roofs, providing shelter from the sun and channeling breezes for ventilation. The smooth cast-in-place concrete walls are punctuated by a regular pattern of inverted cones, which are a remnant of the steel ties that hold the formwork in place. Finally, the curved profile of the sink is made from a section of reclaimed concrete pipe, with portions filled in to create separate washbasins. – Bud Franck