This is an archive article from 1978 Peanuts Daily found in its storage room. We publish it today because we believe it can be interesting and it will make you understand the Taiwanese architecture. Do you sometimes talk about architecture? If yes, what are your thoughts about Taiwan building designs? Have you ever noticed the exterior appearance of many buildings looks like the interior of your toilets? This is called Taiwan toilet architecture and here is the explanation.
In 1978, the American bathroom tiles company The Home Depot was created. At the same time the Taiwanese economy was starting to grow fast. There was a big demand for new buildings. The building construction companies with the help of the government had to find a solution to import a cheap construction material.
Some architects had futuristic ideas but their director, Mr. Chao, told them:
People would buy anything. Even if we build them a big toilet, they’d buy it.
The CEO could see the director was a visionary and promoted Mr. Chao as the leader for the next generation of buildings in Taiwan. Mr. Chao decided to contact Home Depot and requested a quotation for 1 million tons of bathroom tiles. Mr. Cairns, the Home Depot Sales director at the time thought it was a joke, he could not believe anyone would order such a quantity of toilet tiles. Here is a resume of the phone conversation:
– Chao: Hello sir, I am interested to buy a million tons of your cheapest bathroom tiles.
– Cairns: Is that a joke? If you are one of those kids doing phone pranks, please stop!
– Chao: This is serious. I am from Taiwan and the citizens here have no idea about architecture or design. Could you send me an estimate? If you propose me a fair price, I will send you a purchase order soon.
That was the start of the success story of Home Depot and the history behind Taiwanese toilet buildings made of bathroom tiles. After this contract, the relationship between the 2 countries never stopped improving.
Author: Ms. Conda, Annabella.