Colourful toilets liven up HKBU campus

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 May, 2006, 12:00am

Going to the loo at the Hong Kong Baptist University is no longer only about getting your business over with, it's a chance to step into another world.

Two novelty toilets - one for women and one for men - were opened on Level Six of the university's Oen Hall, on Ho Sin Hang Campus on Monday.

Step into the men's toilet and you'll find yourself in a calm, underwater realm. The walls and ceiling are all painted blue.

The women's restroom is embellished with bright pinks and purples and abstract decorations, giving it an 'Alice in Wonderland' feel.

The designs - two of 10 submitted - were chosen as the winners of the 'My Dreaming Restroom' competition organised last summer by the university's cultural literacy programme and the estates office.

Gary Ho, designer of the men's restroom and a third year humanities student at the university, said he was inspired by the ocean.

'In making this design, images of the movement of the sea - and how dark and deep the water can be - rolled through my mind.

'I was also inspired by physics, and how when you shine a light through a concave mirror, the light spreads out to make an image of infinite space. Keeping to the sea theme, I shone a blue source on the wall and painted the patterns,' he said.

The ladies' restroom designer Linda Lee, a third year communication studies student, said her design was motivated by a desire to add colour to Hong Kong's public buildings, which are usually lack-lustre and purely practical in design.

'I spent two weeks designing the draft last year. I hope this new campus space will provoke people's own creative desires, and allow them to step inside a new world, like Alice, stepping through the looking glass.

'I also believe people will pay more attention to hygiene if they can better enjoy going to the toilet,' the 22-year-old said.

As well as enhancing people's hygiene awareness, the competition aimed to promote the university's cultural and artistic image.

On the

walls of the restrooms are two Chinese poems: Flush after Use by Dr Lo Kwai-cheung, associate professor of English language and literature, and About the Space by Dr Lo Wai-luk, associate professor of cinema and television.