Sunday, June 10, 2012


             An interesting engineering aspect of Retiro Park lies below the surface.  It is not a thing of beauty or awe as much of the park emits.  It is beautiful in that it is invisible; its absence makes the park more scenic.  It is the underground bathroom.  It’s such a brilliant idea- I always wonder why more things aren’t constructed underground in an urban environment to save space, beauty and utility.  I’ve been told that it is expensive and difficult to get through approval processes in the city.  I think that it was definitely worth it in this case, as removing the pockmark a restroom building would put on the park makes the utility of the park much better.  People go to Retiro to relax, play, and enjoy the quiet and naturalness of nature.  People also need to go to the bathroom while doing so.  Short of going completely all-natural, placing the manmade building below the ground in an unobtrusive manner solves both of these needs perfectly.  When I passed by the area the first few times, I did not even notice the small sign denoting servicios.  I did notice the fence surrounding a staircase into the ground, so the next time I stopped by my curiosity caused me to check it out, and I was pleasantly surprised by their upkeep and ease of access.  Not only does was it convenient for me, but I suspect it is actually more efficient.  The city’s water pipes are located underground and having the water be accessed closer to the source undoubtedly reduces the energy and effectiveness of the process, even if by a little.  Therefore, I cannot see any negatives to doing this and it improves both the aesthetic beauty and civic performance of Retiro Park.

1 comment:

  1. You can't see the negatives, but you can smell them. The underground bathroom had no functional ventilation whatsoever.