Bombay61, Urbanists

Authors: Ketaki Bhadgaonkar and Jai Bhadgaonkar



Our entry for The little big loo, RETHINKING PUBLIC TOILETS Architecture Competition 2020 (International Competition) organized by Volume Zero won an honorable mention among more than 100 entrants from all parts of the world.  

70% of 18 million population of Mumbai lives in informal settlements
20% of Mumbai slum dwellers have no access to toilets.
58% Toilets - No Electricity
78% Toilets - No Water

The population of Mumbai living in the dense informal settlements have poor access to sanitation. There is a huge lack of access and at times the ratio of people using one toilet seat is about 600 people. This makes the idea of eradicating open defecation, social distancing, hygiene, etc., more and more difficult. 
The toilets often have poor accessibility, no water, no electricity, broken doors and windows, low ventilation and hygiene. This gives rise to social and health issues. It is challenging for the children and women to access a safe and clean toilet.

Map showing slums of Mumbai

POOP Cycle : 
A typical poop cycle or the sewage from the informal settlements and the urban areas ends up into the ocean untreated or not properly treated deteriorating the marine life and the environmental conditions. 

POOP 'VALUE' Cycle : 
The human waste should ne seen as a value and should be treated for benefit of the environment.

Amount of POOP = 250 gms/day/person
Approx. 12 million people in Mumbai use community toilets
Amount of poop generated every day = 3000 Tonnes/day

The Concept of 'POOP-HOOD'
The idea is to design a self sustainable community toilet within a dense urban or rural neighborhood. The module design tries to address the issues of maintenance and sustenance of a toilet block with minimum dependence on external agencies.
The basic motivation of the design is to appreciate the human waste as a a 'value' and not a taboo. The human waste is used to generate cooking gas + bio fertilizer using the bio-digester technology. These byproducts help bring the community together to farm, cook and socialize, making the toilets an integral part of the neighborhood. Thus 'building a Commune; Poop-Hood'.

A single module fits in smaller spaces of the dense fabric, at the same time improves accessibility for all and facilitates social distancing.

MODULE - 2 + 1
Community Space = Night School / community kitchen / tuitions/ training

MODULE - 2 + 2 + 1
Larger module where the space available is more and linear, eg: roadside. Surface area for farming is more in this module. Ideally the farming is also done on the roofs of all the residences.

The rainwater collecting inverted “Hoods” become the identity of the residential neighborhoods. People can associate themselves with these hoods. The bio fertilizers can be used by individual households for roof top farms. They can grow vegetables for self sustenance and sell the surplus. The toilet blocks become completely self sufficient and become spaces of social gathering instead of a social stigma.
The construction materials used are easily available bricks, cement concrete, ceramic tiles and stone. 

Poop-Hood as a MODULE : 
The basic concept of the module is to create a little AND a big loo.
It improves accessibility and encourages social distancing.

Configurations of the module in dense urban settlements


  1. This is a very good concept. More work and research in this area. Is appreciated. Keep it up this commendable job.


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