Beauty makes money: Kawakawa's Hundertwasser toilet block
Centre for Rural Social Research, Charles Sturt University
Regional Professional Studies
Regional Professional Studies CSESS
Toilets have traditionally been regarded as contemplative spaces. Perhaps that is what Hundertwasser had in mind when he designed the splendid, now famous, toilet block in Kawakawa, a small rural town in Far North New Zealand which is struggling to readjust to economic decline. Or perhaps, despite Hundertwasser’s professed scepticism about Marxism (Restany 1998:47 & 84) there is a Marxist dialectic underlining the project; that is, when the objects of the user are achieved, so to speak, they clash with the beauty of Hundertwasser’s unique design. To Hundertwasser, however, the degradation and reintegration of excrement is a ‘beautiful and joyous activity’ (Rand 1993:61).