Chinese university building butt of jokes

This North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power building in Zhengzhou, Henan, has been mocked online as the "Toilet Building".
This North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power building in Zhengzhou, Henan, has been mocked online as the "Toilet Building".PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SHANGHAI • China has another entry when it comes to buildings that look suspiciously like something else - a 12-storey university block strongly resembling a giant toilet.

Architects have had a field day in China in recent years with a number of outlandish designs springing up across the country.

The latest is a building on the campus of North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power in Zhengzhou in the central province of Henan.

The provincial government spent 86 million yuan (S$18 million) on the building, which is for university graduates looking to start their own enterprises, the Henan Daily said.

Despite the university's name, the building was not thought to have been designed to resemble a toilet.

But Internet users have mocked the unofficially named "Toilet Building", which was completed last year and has an oval annex, which critics say looks like a toilet bowl, attached to a larger rectangular block, which looks like the cistern.

"Before it was finished we joked that it was a toilet. And now it is a real toilet building, our university's good name will be spread far and wide," one student joked on Weibo.

The ruling Communist Party last year said it had had enough of "weird" buildings, such as the Beijing headquarters of China Central Television, which is fondly nicknamed "The Big Underpants".

There is also the Beijing HQ of the People's Daily newspaper, which during construction bore an unfortunate resemblance to a giant penis.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Chinese university building butt of jokes'. Print Edition | Subscribe