Is it a Chinese university... or a giant toilet?

A building at the North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power has been nicknamed the "toilet building" because of its design. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (AFP) - 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 at Zhengzhou in the central province of Henan.

The provincial government spent 86 million yuan (S$17.6 million) on the building, which is for university graduates looking to start their own enterprises, the Henan Daily said.

Despite the name of the university, 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 that could be the toilet bowl attached to a larger rectangular block which critics say 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 of its students joked on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter.

Another Weibo user asked light-heartedly: "Does it make the people inside the building poop?"

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

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

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