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Written and Contributed by

RC Architects
Mumbai, Maharashtra


Embracing communication design and architecture, PAUSE redefines public toilet and addresses the challenge of inadequate infrastructure and unhealthy sanitary conditions faced by the long-distance truck drivers in India.

What is the project about?

Pause is a campus that hosts an array of facilities that serve long-distance truck drivers.

The cluster has several access points, defining separate facilities for separate user groups. This is to ensure security and respect people’s privacy.

The main entry focuses on a verandah niche for women, senior citizen and the differently-abled, so that one does not have to go deep into the complex to access the facilities.

To increase the possibility for public activities, the building has the following functions embedded: male toilets, female toilets, toilets for the disabled, sinks, convenience centre, a hair cutting salon, a pantry, a shop, and space for washing and drying clothes, vending machines, a nursing station and a sanitary napkin vending machine.

In the center, there is the Suvidha Kendra for truck drivers (convenience centre) that has banking and transaction facilities.

All these amenities are arranged around an open pavilion that is a recreational space for resting and entertainment.

Pause is conceived based on two principles.

The idea of colour.
Taking cues from other public utilities, including London’s famous telephone booths, post boxes and buses, all coloured in red, ‘pause’ is painted in the same colour to allow passersby to quickly identify its public facilities.

Natural Light and Ventilation
Natural light and ventilation helps to lit the spaces and allows drying the toilet quickly. A simple architectural move that pushes the external wall of the building beyond the line of the external beam opens up space to the sky and light. These open to sky niches are then used for plants, fixtures and for light and ventilation.

Light plays an extremely important role in public spaces as women feel safe in well-lit and well ventilated public spaces.

The variation in the scale of the verandahs allows interaction between people at different scales, at times collectively or between individuals.
Ease of maintenance and the robust use formed to be the guiding principles for material selection inside the spaces. The walls inside the toilets are painted in weather shield paint so it is easy to clean and wash. Inside flooring is conceived as large granite slabs to minimize the joints and increase the durability. The outside flooring is kotah stone which is a combination of a polished and rough finish.

The doors to various spaces are designed based on the activities. The main entry is conceived in perforated metal so that the broader spaces are constantly breathing and door to toilet spaces are in solid blockboard for privacy and are painted with automotive paint so they can be cleaned easily.

Communication Design enhances the accessibility to the public utilities. All signages are designed in two languages so that it is easy for the locals as well as truck drivers to understand and communicate.

Project Funded by

Pause restrooms is a project for a private client called Mr. Ajjet Mande.

Stakeholders Involved

Branding and Communication Design: Monish Ganesan and Riddhi Parikh

What is the impact?

Space has evolved into a place for communication, hoping for better public infrastructure. In the process, we decided to create Pause as a brand to replicate the prototypes in other locations on the highway. 

Images by Hemant Patil and Graphics by Monish Ganesan and Riddhi Parikh | © all rights reserved

Technical Drawings:
Drawings by RC Architects | © all rights reserved

Links to read more:

A link to the project.

About RC Architects:

Rohan Chavan is an architect, planner, designer and educator who studied at the College of Architecture in Kolhapur. He is the founder and owner of RC Architects a multi-disciplinary design practice started in 2015, after working with Charles Correa, Christopher Benninger, and Rahul Mehrotra. He is also a visiting Faculty at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, Mumbai.

His work engages with projects and issues related to public and community sanitation, urban design, affordable and low-cost housing, single-family houses, space design, and institutions. The unique approach towards living patterns and bold style are the highlights of his design practice. He loves to fuse modern materials in a vernacular pattern creating spaces that are rich in natural light and landscape.