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「府-Power To The People」

「府-Power To The People」
「府-Power To The People」 text description


府(fŭ). One simple Chinese character with enormous power, it represents the pinnacle of national authority. In dissecting the character, the lower segment 付 (fù) implies the idea of “being entrusted by the people,” a reminder that presidential power is derived from the mandate of the governed. The Presidential Office Building, therefore, embodies not power, but rather an obligation to serve. The upper segment 广 (yăn) indicates “a factory,” and symbolizes working to fulfill the people's needs and wishes. It is with this notion in mind that the exhibition has been entitled “Power to the People,” conveying the true spirit of democracy.


In 1912 a design competition for the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan was held, and a submission by Japanese designer Uheiji Nagano was judged outstanding. Designer Matsunosuke Moriyama then modified Nagano's work to complete the final design, increasing the height of the center tower from six stories to 11 stories and enriching the decorative language of the building's exterior.

In 1935 a fire broke out on the fifth floor of the Governor-General's Office. During the repair and reconstruction process, the wood and slate roof was replaced with a flat roof made of reinforced concrete and steel beams. 

In 1945, at the end of the Second World War, Taipei suffered a major bombing raid that seriously damaged the front left side of the Office of the Governor-General.

From 1946 to 1948, the Republic of China's National Government made structural repairs on the building, converting the original domed tower into a flat roof. The Office of the Governor-General was also renamed "Chieh Shou Hall."

Between 1949 and 1950, the government of the Republic of China was relocated to Taiwan.

In 1979 the building's interior was gradually renovated to address structural weaknesses in the original Baroque design, resulting in the more streamlined appearance one sees today.

In 1995 the Presidential Office Building was opened for public tours.

In 1998 the Ministry of the Interior designated the Presidential Office Building as a national historic site.

From 2001 to 2005, the building's interior and exterior underwent numerous renovations, and since 2001, the building has been illuminated at night.

In 2006 "Chieh Shou Hall" was officially renamed "Presidential Office Building."






100th Anniversary of the Presidential Office Building


「府100 Tell me what you see」

Relationships between people and buildings are bi-directional. To people, buildings are ever-present witnesses of history; from the perspective of buildings, people are ever-moving users and interpreters of meaning. Since the Presidential Office Building's completion in 1919, its architectural design has been more than a simple reminder of its role as the nation's seat of political power – its imposing and elegant exterior is a celebration of aesthetic beauty, while its halls house the shared memories of eras past.

As an extrapolation of the theme of the permanent exhibition "府(Fu) - POWER TO THE PEOPLE" located on the first floor of the Presidential Office Building, the theme of the Presidential Office Building 100th Anniversary Special Exhibition is '府 100'; the number "100" represents the building's hundred year history. The exhibition seeks to explore the meaning and value generated by interactions between people and the windows of the Presidential Office Building by emulating the effect of two eyes looking through two windows, the viewer simultaneously introspective and outward-looking. The sub-theme — "Tell Me What You See" — encourages visitors to view the Presidential Office Building from multiple perspectives and come up with an understanding of the building that is truly their own.

The exhibition comprises three sections: "Vision", "Viewpoints", and "Perspectives". Through the three-way vantage point provided by this framework, visitors can traverse the halls of collective memory, set foot on the path to freedom, and pause to examine priceless remnants of history hidden in the nooks and crannies of this building. Thus, panoramic historical narratives are condensed linearly to a single point, and viewers can reclaim their voice and find meaning in the splendor of this unique building.


Check in at the Presidential Office Building!

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Presidential Office Building. Our special exhibition celebrating this centennial consists of three parts: Vision, a series of historical images of the Presidential Office Building; Viewpoints, a documentary film about the Building; and Perspectives, which showcases the winners of our creative photography contest. You can also tour our permanent exhibition, Power to the People, where you'll hear the voices of past presidents and people, and get a glimpse of daily life at the Presidential Office Building. Take a stroll through the beautiful North and South Courtyards, and check out the souvenirs at our gift shop!

The Presidential Office Building belongs to us all. Remember to bring your photo ID, and check in at the Presidential Office Building!


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