Artist and the City ：
SUN Chi-Jong’s poetic restoration of a Japanese neighborhood on Qi Dong Street
Architect SUN Chi-Jong grew up in Japanese houses. He and his father, SUN Mao-hong are both architects and their passion for antique houses inspired them to work together on restoring a series of old homes in Taipei. Their home is close to a group of Japanese houses on Qidong Street with more than 100 years of history. This is the only surviving large-scale Japanese neighborhood in Taipei; however, after several years of malicious damage, the neighborhood faced the threat of demolition in favor of building a skyscraper.
SUN Chi-Jong detests leveling plots of land with an excavator. He believes that historic architecture is a testament to our past that can lead us into the future. SUN Chi-Jong, his father and their students, went to Qi Dong Street to restore the landmark Taipei Qin Hall and three historic buildings: the Taipei Calligraphy Salon, Qi Dong Poetry Salon Building no. 25, and Qi Dong Poetry Salon Building No. 27. They sought to restore these buildings to their former glory.
The process of restoring these buildings helped SUN Chi-Jong to understand that people are an incredibly valuable resource because of homemakers like, CHU-CHEN Bao-gui, and local residents who advocated for the preservation of the neighborhood. They firmly believe that teaching their children about these hundred year old wooden houses is more important than building a skyscraper.
Qidong Street is beautiful. Aerial views of the neighborhood are surrounded with greenery amidst the hustle and bustle of Taipei. The old and new coexist in such a way that neighbors are drawn closer to traces of the past within these spaces. They represent the march toward an age of openness and public accessibility.