Friday, May 07, 2010

Old Buildings New Spirits

Tainan was the first city built in Taiwan. Winding ancient streets, old lanes full of traditional snacks and elegant old style buildings that blend into the modern urban areas; these are the hidden treasures that are often overshadowed by government graded historical sites.

The Foundation of Historic City Conservation and Regeneration realizes the conflict between the contemporary urban development and historic conservation. Historical spaces constantly underwent a total reconstruction instead of renovation and ended up losing their unique historical charms. In 2008, the foundation organized the first "old buildings new spirits" series of activities in promoting 18 renovated old buildings in Tainan city, which aroused public concern for old buildings. How to get a balance between a functional modern construction and old style architecture is becoming a trend. In 2 years, 40 bulidings that met the criteria (over 30 years old and had been renovated for new use) were selected as examples for the second run of this architectural renaissance in Tainan.

I spent a few weeks wandering around the alleyways in Tainan city trying to collect comemorative stamps and take photos. As the slogan printed on the pamphlet says: "the longer you stay the more you'd discover", I've found a lot of nice surprises that I'd never have found if not for this campaign. Most of the owners were friendly even if you were just stopping by for the stamp collection. Take a look below to see some examples of these hidden treasures.

Click on the google map for detail information of each building and the exact location.

View Old Buildings New Spirits in a larger map

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! I need to check out some of those places. There really is some cool renovation happening around the city. I'm glad not everyone wants to move into a condo.