6. Nonterior

Houjun Jin

From China

Exhibition :

'The RCA Work-in-Progress Exhibition 2018'

'The RCA Work-in-Progress Exhibition 2019'

'Democratic Seats', Kortrijk Creativity Week 2019






Degree Details

School of Architecture

This project originated from an accidental discovery and led to a journey of exploration of very significant specific and cultural needs for intimacy and space reflected in the history of Soho. The discovery was of the use of Broadwick Street Public Toilet as a Cottaging venue. However, a conundrum ensued. As a “cottaging” venue, important and personal needs are met. These are perhaps on the edge of legality but certainly central to gay sexuality and the culture of Soho.

Soho is unique as it gives space to the many strands of sex culture, has given the sex industry breadth and in so doing recognised the need for sexual expression in its varied ways. But the conundrum is the Council’s response to residents’ complaints and financial related issues, which is threatening Broadwick Street Public toilet’s very existence. The culture of Soho and the need of the men using it, is not part of these reasons.

Could the Broadwick Street public toilet be saved from closure if it was considered an important cultural and community asset of Soho? How might Broadwick Street public toilet be adapted to accommodate sexual encounters for a variety of genders and sexualities? Could specific cruising interior architecture become more commonplace as attitudes to casual sex shift?

In response, a new unisex toilet is created to deal with the concerns of the council and local residents, whilst also secretly preserving spaces for sexual activity with the insertion of a hidden sex club behind the walls of the toilet. As the two worlds collide side by side various spatial tactics are adopted, which allow both space types to coexist at the same time but that also allow the users to remain oblivious from one another. 

Project Pitch

The pitch above describes the main research process of my project.

It started when I accidentally discovered the Broadwick Street 'cottage' until the end when I decided to choose this 'cottage' as the site of my project. It also demonstrates my understanding and point of view of the unique LGBT subculture in Soho. At the same time, I hope it can also address possible confusion in your mind, for example: What is ‘cottaging’? Why design such a project? Etc...




3 minutes 14 seconds
Broadwick Street
Gay cruising
Public toilet
Sex Club

Photographic Site Survey

Existing 'Cottage' Section

Narrative Artefact Model

Narrative Artefact Model


Solid wood, MDF, Polylactic acid



Participatory Event Photographs And Outcomes

Before I started to design a ‘cottage’, I needed to understand people’s requirements about ‘cottaging’. So, I held a workshop in a Soho gay pub. During the workshop, I encouraged people to describe their ideal ‘cottage’ through sketches or text. The above are workshop photographs and outcomes.

Basement plan

Long Section

Short Section A-A

Short Section B-B

Short Section C-C

Short Section E-E

Short Section F-F

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