At Your Convenience: A Lavatorial Walking Tour
See the Green building on your right? Stop in front of it.
This is the Jubiloo. It was erected in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee. It is run by Healthmatic, a private company, and receives no public funding, so your 50p entry fees go towards the running and building costs.
However, here you’re not just paying for a toilet but for an experience. It is no exaggeration to say that this is Britain’s most patriotic toilet. The décor is union jack themed, from the mirrors to the rubbish bins toilet seats. This is the only country I know that would put its flag on a toilet seat, but it’s kind of fun.
This is also the only toilet I know to have its own facebook page, so if you enjoy your visit you can become a fan and stay up to date on what goes on.
Go ahead and walk round the front of the building. You’re going slightly to your left. Find the bench with an inscription on it.
[AJAY] “Hi, I’m Ajay, the Healthmatic regional manager responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Jubiloo Public Toilets located on the South Bank in Central London. Healthmatic specialize in the design and management of public toilets. Our services range from full public convenience design, access systems, installation and management through to the day-to-day cleaning and maintenance of existing facilities. In building the Jubiloo, Healthmatic have become the first public convenience provider to design, build and operate a commercially viable public toilet.
“The Jubiloo was designed by Mark Power Architect, built by Healthmatic, and were opened to the public by Kate Hooey MP on the 24th of May, 2012. The Jubiloo is a wonderfully light contemporary building based between the Southbank centre and the London eye, located on Queen’s Walk beside the Jubilee Gardens. The building is glass clad, reflecting its surroundings, and unified by a projecting canopy with a lapped timber-boarded soffit, and a gold aluminium roof. Inspired by its river setting, the Jubiloo takes the form of a vessel, temporarily moored, in alignment with the historic shoreline of the Thames. The canopy’s dramatic boat shape recalls the roman galley remains discovered in 1911 beneath the neighboring County Hall, and has been designed to collect rainwater to help flush the loos.
“The Jubiloo has 11 unisex cubicles and 6 Urinals, which are open from 10am to 10pm every day during the summer, and 10am to 8pm in the winter. The building is attended full time by four perminant members of staff, who at this time are Gerrard, Luke, Gerogina, and Winsome. All the water used in the flushing of the toilets, urinals and the cleaning of the floor is grey-water, either from the roof collection or from the Southbank Centre’s borehole. An atrium across the span of the toilet provides natural light with views of the London Eye and reduces lighting [costs]. If you ever have the pleasure of using the Jubiloo please do take time to give us your comments on the Jubiloo’s very own Facebook Page.
“Remember, nobody funds this facility. It’s your desire to spend a penny that keeps the Jubiloo going!”
We are going to head on now… but if you need a loo break this is one of the best chances on the tour. If you mention the loo lady to the attendants some of them may even still remember me! And always remember to thank your toilet attendant. It’s a tough job making people pay all day to pee!!!
When you’re done head to the foot of the steps by the Bridge to your left for our next adventure.