RIO DE JANEIRO – Restrooms in a new public building recently opened in southern Brazil, give new meaning to the word “public.” The bathrooms have transparent glass walls, allowing passersby on the street an unobstructed view of people inside.
The building in Ponta Grossa, Parana state, houses a music school, cost $3 million reais (about U.S. $1.5 million) to build, and required two years to complete. The conservatory, scheduled to open in February, will serve both children and adults.
The aesthetics of the restrooms, which allow people outside the building to see all that happens inside, baffles the locals. “Did they do it to draw attention or is it just an error in the plans?” student Lorena Max pondered.
“It’s too bad. I would never use a bathroom like this. Didn’t the guy (architect) realize that everybody passing by could come and see?” asked Rafael Teleska, a coach.
Residents point out another architectural curiosity. In addition to the glass-walled bathrooms, the building sports upper-floor emergency exits which open into thin air.
“It’s so Big Brother Brazil,” said switchman Diego Bech, referring to the local version of the popular TV reality show. “So totally wrong. Only in Ponta Grossa do these things happen,” he added.
The Planning Secretary for the city told G1 that the site obviously needs some “adjustments,” and that the contractor will be responsible to fix the problem.