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There was once an old woman who lived in a toilet –
Such an odd home, I can’t fathom she’d enjoyed it
– Mother Goose (sort of)
I’ve heard of people in crappy living situations but this is a whole new level of weird. Imagine living in a fully functional, completely modern home – but shaped like the world’s largest toilet! And no, this isn’t some nursery rhyme gone awry. One man actually did this!
Reported by Freshome years ago (yes, we’re a little behind the news over here sometimes), this unique homage to the porcelain throne was designed (and then actually built!) by the Korean Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Inaugural General Assembly of the World Toilet Association, Sim Jae-Duck, or Jack Sim. His official title is possibly the longest the world has ever seen, an achievement second only to his pristinely designed and regally realized lavatory living quarters. Sim Jae-Duck created the World Toilet Association back in 2000. Also, today we all learned that there is a World Toilet Association!
Sim Jae-Duck designed the home in the hopes that it would draw attention to a global need for improved sanitation, particularly in the plumbing field. He also opened the house in 2007 to commemorate the continued success of the World Toilet Association in its philanthropic goals.
In an apparent bid to win the title for “World’s Best Use of Hyperbolic Euphemism,” Sim Jae-Duck named his masterpiece ‘Haewoojae’, which roughly means “a place of sanctuary wherein one can solve one’s concerns”. Initially, the house was rented out to interested inhabitants at a cushy rate of approximately $50,000 per day. The funds were used to bolster the Association, and most of the money went towards sanitation education programs and outreach in places where plumbing and sanitation were veritable health hazards.
The home is made of concrete, steel, and glass, and not in fact porcelain, as some of us had eagerly hoped. But the home does feature misters throughout, to help inhabitants feel more comfortable, and is outfitted with electronic sensors that lift the “lid” whenever people are inside to open up space a little. “Raising the roof” has never been so literal.
The house features two floors, two bedrooms, two guest rooms, ample living space, and of course, three very luxurious bathrooms housing top of the line toilets. It cost approximately $1.6 million to build. It is located just south of Seoul.
Sim Jae-Duck was born in a restroom, in keeping with certain Korean traditions that stipulate a child born in a bathroom will enjoy a long life. It seems fitting that a man born in a bathroom should live and die in one. This great man, a member of Parliament in his later years, died in January 2009, after a lifetime of promoting health and safety for billions of impoverished people around the world. He was affectionately nicknamed “Mr. Toilet” after his efforts to improve sanitation were immensely successful in Korea just prior to the 2002 Football World Cup.
Today, his World Toilet Association continues to advance his original vision of improving the hygienic and sanitation conditions for people around the world through advocacy programs, education, business improvement and facilitation, and the advancement and promotion of new sanitary technologies. Most currently, they are seeking to reach out to over 2.6 billion people in the world who are in need of sanitary, functional toilets. If you would like to help with a donation, you can support their cause here.
Mike is the acting Digital Content Manager at Trade Winds Imports. He has been writing about home improvement, remodeling, and design for over 9 years and has been featured in such publications as theSpruce, ApartmentTherapy, Freshome, Huffington Post, and Forbes. When he’s not busy writing, developing websites, or working on his own house, he’s spending time outside with his wife, 2 year old daughter, and newborn son. If you have any questions or comments regarding the content on this site, please email Mike!