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Templetown Public Toilets

  • Architect:
    Van Dijk Architects
  • Award Type:
    Regional Award 2003
  • Location: Leinster
Templetown Public Toilets


Eastern Under €300,000

The provision of public toilets, in the setting of a sandy south facing beach required some innovation design rather than the usual bunker type which pervades which we are only too familiar with. The overall form is made up of the oval shaped plan and the independently inclined roof with steel portals running from front to back, allowing for provision of high level ventilation. The design is both practical and realistic in its form and function, with the use of robust finishes allowing the toilets to be hosed down and how the scheme relates to its natural surroundings.

Louth County Council was allocated funding under the Special Programme for Peace & Reconciliation for new public toilets at a number of seaside locations, including Templetown Beach on the Cooley Peninsula.

Architect's Comment

In an effort to regain "Blue Flag" status for it s beaches, Louth County Council commissioned a series of public toilets for Carlingford, Port and Templetown Beaches. The toilets at Templetown were half built when they had to be demolished to allow for excavations searching for a body relating to Terrorism in Northern Ireland. No body was found and the toilets were re-erected and completed this year.

The brief was all too simple one male and one female ((disabled access) toilet and a drinking fountain on the edge of a car park. However, the setting for the building backed by a sandy bank and on the shoreline of this attractive South facing beach meant that the architects were keen to build something which evoked happy days at the seaside rather than the usual unattractive bunkers which pervade this building type.

It was quickly decided that the building should be largely oval shaped on plan reflecting the natural curves and waves associated with the beach and its surrounding landforms. The need to provide simple high levels of natural ventilation meant that the roof could be literally separated from the building.

The design allows for the roof to be independently supported by two galvanised steel portals running from front to back with the front columns inclined to allow the roof fall forward to provide shelter for people visiting the drinking fountain. The roof is formed by an asymmetrical vault with the higher end covering water tanks and services set against the sandy bank with the lower end sweeping down towards the sea. All fittings and finishes internally are robust to allow for the toilets to be hosed down.

Clients Comment
This Beach has held a Blue Flag in the past, is very popular with both locals and visitors and up to now, only had temporary toilets during the summer months.

The Council commissioned a design for the various new seaside toilets from Van Dijk Architects. The toilets were expected to cater for both male and female, including full disabled access, all within a very restricted budget. What has been achieved is a building that meets the Council s requirements but also does so much more..

Van Dijk Architects have created a building with a sense of traditional but in a modern stylish manner, which fits in very well with the location. The design of the new toilets is far removed from the bland and predictable styles of the past and proves that high quality; innovative design is possible in any location and indeed, with any budget.