Presidential Office Building
The Presidential Office Building was built during the Japanese colonial period to house the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan. An architectural design contest inviting architects to submit construction specifications was held in two stages in 1906 and 1910. Eventually, the work designed by Uheiji Nagano was partly adopted, but Matsunosuke Moriyama produced the final design by taking Uheiji Nagano’s work and modifying it. In Moriyama's design, the central tower was heightened and the locations for the two side entrances were altered. Construction began on the building in 1912. The entire building was completed in 1919. During the Second World War, the building suffered heavy bombing from the Allied Powers. The central guard tower at the main entrance and part of the exterior walls were severely damaged. Fires raging in the building destroyed its roof and exterior. After the war, extensive work was undertaken to repair the damage and the building temporarily served as the administration hall for the Taiwan Provincial Government. In 1950, the building became the Office of the President. The building was built in a late-Renaissance style, influenced by the English architect Norman Shaw and referred to as "the Tatsuno specifications”. With its decorative red-and-white horizontal bands, the building featured classical elements such as porticos, pediments and gables, vaulted windows, oeil-de-boeuf windows, brackets, and colonnades. The ground plan of the building introduced a double courtyard layout in reference to the Chinese character "日." In fact, the layout was chosen for its strong earthquake resistance. The east, south, and west sides of the building have balconies to accommodate climatic characteristics in the subtropical zone, while the northern side does not since it receives much less sunlight. This large and magnificent building representing the evolution of Taiwan's modern history has borne witness to Taiwan's political and economic development and has become an important landmark in Taipei city.