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Philippe Quaglia


WC with view

” Where are the bathrooms please ? “. From shack to the palace, this question, formulated or not, is posed to everyone. Hidden place, of intimacy or conviviality, the toilets are indicative of a society. From Roman latrines where discussions were going well to Japanese toilets equipped with a noisemaker to cover intimate noises, all the variations existed. As a kid, during my first outings in the mountains, I was amazed and delighted with the simplicity of the refuge toilets, four boards, one hole, and that’s it!

Refuge toilets present a powerful paradox: located in preserved and magnificent places, close to glaciers or eternal snow, their dirt pollutes the landscapes in which they are mirrored. The traveler has no choice but to pollute the sites in which he has come to seek beauty and purity.

The constructions, sometimes sketchy, are often vertiginously placed to facilitate evacuation. It is not uncommon to have a chasm between your feet. Sometimes it is safer to put on the crampons to reach them, and their use can be perilous on a stormy day, when the wind rushes between the boards or comes in straight through the drain hole.

Philippe Quaglia

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