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Empowered by Restoration/Renovation: The Taiwan Experience

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  • As part of an ongoing collaboration between the LFA, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (R.O.C.) and Taipei Representative Office in the UK, the three videos below have been specially curated for LFA 2020 based on this year’s theme of Power. To see more of the collaboration, please use the links at the end of this page.
  • A place’s history is a form of power – a defining narrative that helps build the identities of the spaces around us. This film selection showcases the revival of several historic buildings and community spaces across Taiwan, by architects with different approaches to recovering and reimagining the essence of these places. With each architect and their vision, forgotten memories are summoned and complex layers of history are unfolded, as they give bricks and stones a new breath of life. Spaces that were once frozen in time are now empowered, and once again, they are dynamic, becoming apart of the surrounding community and its people.


This film introduces three projects, all involving the revitalization of old spaces and houses, all recognized by ADA Awards for Emerging Architects. “Cool Cool Seaside” in the major port city of Kaohsiung revives an old public space with local cultural elements such as traditional window grills and old shipping containers, whilst “3080S Local Style” reimagines a historic house as a communicative site of the local bridal wear industry that is deeply rooted in the community. In Taichung, a group of architects transform a ruined building that used to be a family-owned factory into a co-working space and activities site.

The video is produced by Taiwan Public Television Service Foundation.


In this film, architects HE Daiwan and LIN Yaping share their unique approach to the restoration and revival of historic sites. Seeing each space as the culmination of many generations of use, they believe that “restoration” does not necessarily mean having the architecture fixed as it was at a certain timing, but more like an organic demonstration of the layered historic traces. In their design philosophy, the building’s authenticity lies in how the essence of the place and its relations with surroundings are revived, rather than materials. In this process, stories hidden in the sites are given a fresh light and young generations return to experience the space as the old and the new are intertwined.

The video is produced by Taiwan Public Television Service Foundation.



Traditional food markets have played an essential role as community hubs and business centres from very early in Taiwan’s history up until the modern day. This film tells the story of Xinfu market and its revival. Built in the Japanese colonial period in 1935, this indoor market used to flourish, yet has long sat deserted, despite its designation as a historical site in 2006. Commissioned by the Taipei City Government, Architect Yu-Han Michael Lin faces the difficult task of bringing new life to this site without compromising the original structure. Lin wishes to resurrect back the spirit of social interaction in the original market, empowering the site as an icon of cultural memories and local identity. Now, although the building no longer serves as a retail space, it thrives as a public event space for food education and cultural heritage preservation.

The video is produced by the JUT Foundation for Arts and Architecture in Taiwan.


This series is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (R.O.C.), Taipei Representative Office in the UK and curated by the London Festival of Architecture.




To hear the connecting podcast with Fieldoffice Architects head here or catch up through your smart speaker by saying “Alexa, play the Architecture Masters podcast.”

To read about LFA Programme Manager Andre Holmqvist’s February visit to Taiwan head to our views page here.

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