Paulette Meldrum – Architecture – Hundetwasser Public Toilets, Kawakawa New Zealand

I chose this building as it is unique in New Zealand and my late sister in law was involved in the project.  I have been to Kawakawa several times and this toilet is certainly a must see for tourists.  My sister in law had a gift shop called “Grass Hutt” (it is still there) and there is also a sweet shop nearby and both feature the same columns which are a Hundertwasser feature and grass on the roof.  An unusual feature of the toilet building is the tree growing up through the middle.

Construction method:  hand dyed background, dyed fabric, photo transfer of photos taken on location using TAP and stencils.  Three stencils were made – mosaic tiles, a column and the coloured glass bottles which are features of the building and let in amazing coloured lighting. The stencils once on the quilt were completed with fabric, fabric paints, ink pens, coloured pencils and stitching. Another feature of the building is the NZ Koru design which can be seen at the back of the photograph of an actual bottle panel.  The quilt was finished with curved quilting to echo the shape of the columns.

Kawakawa Toilet

Close View:

Kawa kawa toilets close-up

  1. carolinehiggs

    An interesting subject, I love the idea of the tree being in the middle of the building!

  2. joanbrailsford

    What an unusual building, and a very well worked interpretation. A colouful piece which reflects the interest of the building.

  3. How unusual! That public washrooms would be so uniquely designed by a renowned architect — and then, the colour and the addition of grass on the roof…! Unfortunately, I couldn’t enlarge the photos to read the text you’ve included on the piece.

  4. I had read about these toilets several years ago when researching Hundetwasser, so glad you choose him as your subject. Well done

  5. Your background fabric is beautiful. I like the grass on the roof and tree in the middle of the construction. Very unusual building.

  6. I love the tree! The building is as you say unique, as is the status of a public toilet as a “must see.” The composition of the whole is intriguing.


    What an unusual building and a lot of details to look at. You did a great job putting them together in your quilt. I love the way you created the mosaic tiles and the bottles that let the light through.

  8. English quilter

    I had no idea that Hundetwasser had designed a public toilet. I enjoyed the different ways you depicted the building and your memories of it.

  9. I am a Hundertwasser fan, but never heard about this toilets. Shame on me. It must have been hard to make a good composition but you succeeded. Very nice informative piece.

  10. I think this is the first quilt I see about a toilet. It is so nice you made this quilt using photo transfers of the building. I too like Hundertwasser but did not know he created toilets.

  11. Great use of photos to showcase such an iconic building

  12. What a great choice of subject. I’ve read about this building and your fascinating quilt tells me that I must visit Kawakawa.

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