© Manthey Kula

Rethinking the Roadtrip: 8 Engaging Rest Stops for Rejuvenation

Gabrielle Golenda Gabrielle Golenda

Whether a city is launching a plan to reduce fatigue-related driving accidents, or architecture students decide to design and build experiential park bathrooms for their thesis project, rest stops provide a unique opportunity to design spaces where passing through means more than just a quick trip to le toilette. For drivers, hikers, and cyclists alike, these interesting and engaging architectural forms provide points of interest, scenic viewing platforms, areas for rest and reflection, gathering spots, and other spaces of rejuvenation for tired passersby.

© John Gollings Photography

© John Gollings Photography

© John Gollings Photography

© John Gollings Photography

© John Gollings Photography

© John Gollings Photography

Geelong Ring Road Areas by BKK Architects, Victoria, Australia

Located between the Anglesea Road interchange and where the ring road joins the Princes Highway, these structures are part of the VicRoads Victorian Rest Area Strategy, which aims to reduce fatigue-related incidents by taking a holistic, strategic approach to rest stops across Victoria’s major roads. Consisting of male, female, and disabled toilets, along with a car shelter and picnic shelter, the project is entirely self-sufficient.

© Berschneider + Berschneider

© Berschneider + Berschneider

© Berschneider + Berschneider

© Berschneider + Berschneider

© Berschneider + Berschneider

© Berschneider + Berschneider

Toilet House Golf Club Lauterhofen by Berschneider + Berschneider, Lauterhofen, Germany

Concealed by a stack of logs, this golf course bathroom features a stainless-steel framed window that provides quite the view from le toilette. Inside, the dark stained wooden walls keep the space from feeling too cold or municipal.

© bUd Atelier

© bUd Atelier

© bUd Atelier

© bUd Atelier

© bUd Atelier

© bUd Atelier

Restroom in Yawatahama Roadside Station by bUd Atelier, Ehime, Japan

Built in the roadside station of Yawatahama City, the restroom was arranged around a central courtyard complete with mandarin trees. Inside, the ceiling mimics the shape of a mandarin tree, cutting out the scenery of terraced fields outside.

© Manthey Kula

© Manthey Kula

© Manthey Kula

© Manthey Kula

© Manthey Kula

© Manthey Kula

Roadside Reststop Akkavikodden by Manthey Kula, Lofoton, Norway

Alongside a scenic tourist route, this toilet facility was part of an initiative to install observation platforms that provide stopping points and connections to existing points of interest. The clerestory windows provide nearly panoramic views of the mountains, creating a hybrid experience of nature and design.

© Auburn University Rural Studio

© Auburn University Rural Studio

© Auburn University Rural Studio

© Auburn University Rural Studio

© Auburn University Rural Studio

© Auburn University Rural Studio

Perry Lakes Park Restroom by Rural Studio, Marion, Alabama

This project is a part of the four related building projects in Perry County’s recreational park that Rural Studio created over the span of four thesis classes and five years. The bathroom facility provides three different “toilet experiences:” one toilet is a 50-foot “tall toilet,” the second is a “long toilet” that frames a tree at one end, and the third is a “mound toilet.”

© L J B

© L J B

© L J B

© L J B

© L J B

© L J B

Atnbrufossen Vannbruksmuseum by L J B, Dovre, Norway

Located beside the Atnbrufossen waterfall to the east of the Rondane Mountains, this rest stop and museum has an exhibition space and a functioning saw mill that is owned and run by the local community. Resonating with the cultural atmosphere and its natural surroundings, the exterior is clad in high-quality local pine with natural impregnation.

© FUTURE STUDIO

© FUTURE STUDIO

© FUTURE STUDIO

© FUTURE STUDIO

© FUTURE STUDIO

© FUTURE STUDIO

Hiroshima Park Restrooms by FUTURE STUDIO, Hiroshima-shi, Japan

This colorful series of public toilets were designed according to the bends and folds of origami cranes. Constructed entirely from concrete, the 17 Hiroshima Park Restrooms come in three different shapes, but each one has its own unique color.

© Marcus Buck

© Marcus Buck

© J.MAYER.H

© J.MAYER.H

© J.MAYER.H

© J.MAYER.H

Highway Rest Stops by J. MAYER H., Gorgi, Georgia

Located on selected scenic viewpoints, a system of 20 rest stops were designed for the new highway running from Azerbaijan to Turkey, through Georgia. The gigantic concrete structures shelter petrol filling stations, while the glass walls enclose supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and exhibit spaces for arts and crafts.

Read more articles by Gabrielle
© Matthew Millman Photography

Windhover Contemplative Center // Aidlin Darling Design

Stanford, CA, United States

© Charly Broyez

housing in Tours // Vallet de Martinis architectes

Tours, France

+