Above: The original concrete walls with steps leading down to the old loos. The steps on the left provide the new entrance to the residence.
“A Converted Public Toilet”
Its not for everyone, but some people have found that an old public loo can make a home. The architect Laura Clark noticed the derelict toilets in 2005 and applied to purchase them. It took a few years for her to gain possession but, in 2011 she became the owner of public toilets under the pavement of Crystal Palace Parade. They had been built in 1929 and were last used some time in the 1980s.
Crystal Palace Parade runs between the boundaries of three London Boroughs which are near the site of the toilets – Bromley, Lambeth and Croydon. After some research it was decided that they are situated just inside the boundary of the London Borough of Lambeth.
Above: A view inside part of the converted residence.
Laura Clarke specialises in interior conversions of houses for a job and so this project was something that she was able to devote her time to. Of course there are no windows in the walls but daylight does enter the space from glass panels set into the pavement. In total, by combining the ‘Ladies’ and the ‘Gents’ the property is just over 600 square feet in area. One of the flights of access stairs has been sealed off with iron bars and the ‘front door’ is reached using the other flight of stairs.
There are other disused loos in London that have been converted in a similar fashion. It is a sad fact that the local councils do not want to be bothered to provide the facilities for which the structures were originally designed.