A UK architecture practice has won the annual Best Japanese Toilet Award from the nation’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation.

Through a bold combination of illuminated, translucent walls and the latest bathroom technology, Klein-Dytham Architecture’s Gallery TOTO at Narita Airport Terminal 2 took out the coveted award - a considerable honour in a nation which is globally renowned for its cutting-edge toilets.

Located in a new airport sky lounge, the gallery doubles as a showroom for TOTO’s state-of-the art designs while providing an essential facility for the modern traveller.

The project collaboration takes place as the airport upgrades facilities in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, and as TOTO celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2017.

The architects designed the gallery to showcase the latest digital technology. Hence the fabric screens containing LED panels that transform the walls facing the public lounge space into a digital screen. A series of moving images by a Japanese dance company are silhouetted, showing cleaning sequences happening inside the toilet spaces.

When not illuminated the wall is designed to appear like a shoji screen. The LED panel with a low resolution digital image and tactile fabric provides an image that looks more like a soft shadow.

Within, each toilet showcases the latest washlet technology, while spaces come fitted with individual digital indicators showing time elapsed, introduced so those waiting can see which toilet is likely to be free first.

 Images: DAICI ANO/Klein Dytham architecture