Build a spacious outhouse with it’s own character but still fit into the traditional environment of red wooden houses. The inside should be bright without having windows for passers to look it to. It will be used day as well as during night time.
Looking at traditional Swedish outhouses they are often made with a wooden panel with rest material from the main houses. They can vary in luxury and comfort. Often they have a small window to let the light in.Inspired my my grand mothers outhouses I made a water color sketch that in my mind was the ultimate nostalgic outhouse. Wooden panel with small windows letting some light it. The roof would be made of tiles leaning in an angle for the water to drop off. The door would have small wooden panels angled to let in light and air but protecting any passersby from looking in.
Planning the project
The outhouse would be build in the country side in Sweden with old houses dated from the 16th century in the surroundings. It would be a hugh challenge to build something looking like it was from the same time, fooling the history. I decided to change direction to build something in the opposite time, the future. The surrounding houses had Falu red painted wooden panel with terracotta painted doors. I was moving to sketching up an outhouse in a modern style but fitting in to the environment.
The modern outhouse
Inspired by modern architecture I was heading towards a very plain style inspired by an electrical cabinet with straight lines and ventilation. Blue prints, sketches and computer made models were made. I wanted a box-like appearance but the roof had to lean to get rid of rain. To keep the cubic box appearance I sketched a leaning roof that was hidden by the wooden panel. The rain water had to be tranfered from the roof to a pipe leaning out of one of the sides on the outhouse. To take advantage of the space I sketched out the seat to be in one of the corners instead of stretching between 2 walls.
Deciding on material
To cover the walls I would use standard dimensions of the planks. To cover the intersections of the planks I used smaller planks to give a more detailed impression of the panel. Deciding on roof material I had a choice of tiles, metal or plastic roof. Since the edge of the roof would be hidden by the panel the option of tiles felt like overdoing it. Looking at the plastic option I could go for a transparent plastic to increase the light inside the outhouse. I went for a white plastic roofthinking that tired autumn leaves ending up at the roof wouldn’t be a pretty sight for outhouse visitors.
When I assembled the plastic roof I wanted to make a seamless path for the water to run down the gutter. It was crucial that the water at the roof wouldn’t hit the wooden panel but instead end up in the metal gutter to run out on the side of the house. Along the way it hit me that I could melt the plastic roof with a hot air gun to shape the roof the way I wanted.
Inspired by the electrical cabinet and the traditional outhouse doors the ventilation space was covered with wooden sticks at an angle of 45 degrees from floor to ceiling to let air in and out and reduce insight into the sacred space.
I painted the interior in a transparent white color with a hint of blue. A polystyrene seat was placed on to the closet seat to increase the comfort. The door was looked with a hasp from both the inside and the outside when the visitor was finished.
The launch party
As any buidling project this had to be celebrated. Everyone who had seen been around during the project was invited to the opening to drink champange and try it out.