Hsinchu County’s Daping Elementary School won the competition to promote the beautification of bathrooms in both elementary and middle schools last year, winning NT$300,000 for the transformation. The winner was chosen from a pool of almost 400 competitors, with each candidate being judged on spaciousness, lighting, ventilation, aesthetics and adaptation to natural surroundings.
School Director Peng Ming-chun explained how this bathroom was a blight on the entire school grounds — dark, smelly, and cramped — the school was given NT$1 million by the county to renovate. With the collective effort of engineers, faculty, and students, the dilapidated facility became a pristine bathroom that blends with its environment.
Peng Ming-chun added that it has an uncanny artistic feel, thanks to its colored glass panes, wood-colored railings, and semi-transparency which allows for the surrounding trees to be seen. Seen from the outside, the hollow brick walls and childlike paintings make one wonder whether the structure is actually an art studio.
Hsu Rui-chu, director of teaching affairs at Daping Elementary School, said that students from third to sixth grade participated with the artwork during their art class, designing its signpost and pasting colored paper on the glass. In the end, the students’ art can be found in every corner of the bathroom and served as a way to put into practice what students had learned in class.
The dark, stuffy, smelly structure that made students reluctant to go to the bathroom is no more. After its rebirth, students are overjoyed to not have to walk through its stench or step on a damp and slippery floor any longer. ●