TARPON SPRINGS SPONGE DOCKS RESTROOMS
Tarpon Springs, FL
2014 Merit Award
American Institute of Architects
Tampa Bay Chapter
The context for this small public restroom structure is the tourist area of the Greek sponge fishing docks in Tarpon Springs on Florida’s Gulf coast. It has been known as the “Sponge Capital of the World” since the twenties. The Nautical theme is derived from the sponge and shrimp fishing boats of the adjacent waterfront.
Two masts serve as the primary compression members which support stainless cables supporting the floating roof of aluminum beams and a T&G wood roof deck. Cables also anchor the roof structure to two concrete pylons for wind uplift. The floating roof provides ventilation and openness for the toilet stalls along with the louvered doors and screen panels. These panels are raised off the floor to allow some visual monitoring but also for easy wash down. They also were designed for a flow through of flood waters from the adjacent river. This worked well during high winds and flood waters from hurricane Debby soon after construction. There was no damage.
The building requires neither mechanical ventilation nor artificial lighting during daylight hours. The building was raised to the maximum allowed by the controlling ADA slopes creating a friendly waiting “Porch” and board and batten siding was used as it was the primary construction system of the early settlers of the area. The building has been very successful with many grateful users.