Tue, Sep 11, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Merry-go-round, Japanese restrooms draw interest

By Chang Ching-ya and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A merry-go-round-themed restroom is pictured at Taichung Park on Aug. 29.

Photo courtesy of the Taichung Bureau of Construction

Two public restrooms at Taichung Park, one themed on a Japanese courtyard and the other on a merry-go-round, have drawn tourists seeking photo opportunities.

The restrooms are the result of a NT$35 million (US$1.1 million) project to renovate 17 public restrooms across the municipality’s seven parks to foster a children-friendly atmosphere, the Taichung Department of Public Works said.

Aside from an external face-lift, the 17 restrooms also had their internal facilities upgraded, including diaper-changing tables and other equipment that would benefit parents taking children to restrooms.

The height of toilets and bars to help elderly people and those with disabilities have been lowered to facilitate movement and ease of access, the department said.

Four of the restrooms — including the two in Taichung Park — cost NT$16.4 million and are open to the public, the municipality said.

The Japanese courtyard-styled restroom previously had wooden planks for walkways, which sparked concerns that the material would wear out quickly, the department said.

It replaced the pine planks with stylized cement and used plain bricks to replace wooden walls to retain a Japanese architectural style, the department said.

An owl-shaped stone lantern with freshly planted flowers gives the entire courtyard a refreshing look, the department said, adding that it also added more benches outside to allow people to sit while waiting for others.

As for the merry-go-round restroom, the department constructed a mushroom-shaped pavilion for people to wait under, with replicas of horses around the restroom for children to sit on, the department said.

Elsewhere, a public restroom on Pingdeng Street had the male and female portions swapped to ensure better safety and privacy, the department said.

Sources of lighting, as well as shades, were added to the structure, while the replacement of wooden paths with plain bricks has preserved the retro-Japanese look, the department said.

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