The Presidential Office Building / 總統府 / 中華民國總統府 / 中华民国总统府 houses the Office of the President of the Republic of China. The building, located in the Zhongzheng District in the national capital of Taipei, Taiwan, was designed by architect Uheiji Nagano (ja) during the period of Japanese rule of Taiwan (1895–1945). The structure originally housed the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan. Damaged in Allied bombing during World War II, the building was restored after the war by Chen Yi, the Governor-General of Taiwan Province. It became the Presidential Office in 1950 after the Republic of China lost control of mainland China and relocated the nation’s capital to Taipei at the end of the Chinese Civil War. At present, this Baroque-style building is a symbol of the ROC Government and a famous historical landmark in downtown Taipei.
The Presidential Office Building occupies the city block between Chongqing South Road and Bo’ai Road in downtown Taipei. It is designed in the shape of two squares stretching from Baoqing Road to Guiyang Street.
The 130 meter-wide facade faces east down multi-lane Ketagalan Boulevard. This reflects the concerns of its Japanese architects, who often oriented important structures toward the rising sun at the head of long avenues. (This feature may also be seen in Main Library of National Taiwan University.)
The building has ten entrances but only the front entrance and west gate are used for official functions. In the original design an ornate Baroque-style domed entrance hall greeted visiting dignitaries. This entrance hall was reconstructed with simpler interior features after destruction of the first hall in World War 2. The west gate, the formal rear entrance of the building, features a grand marble staircase and porch lined with Ionic and Corinthian pillars.
The two-part main building, six stories high, mainly houses government offices and maintenance services. The office wings feature balconies and long corridor that allow view of the sunlit North and South Gardens.
The 60-meter tower at the center of the building was the tallest structure in the Taipei Basin during Japanese rule. When the Nationalist regime took power, a platform was built at the top floor to enable martial flag-raising ceremonies.
The Presidential Office Building stands within walking distance of the Judicial Yuan Building, 228 Memorial Park, the National Taiwan Museum, the original hospital of the National Taiwan University, the original East Gate of the City of Taipei, the Chang Yung Fa Foundation Building (formerly Kuomintang Party Headquarters) and the National Theater and Concert Hall at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. A few blocks to the west is Taipei’s popular Ximending shopping district with its historic cinema and Jhongshan Concert Hall. A few blocks to the north is Taipei Main Station and Shin Kong Life Tower.
Full open house days are once a month (usually on a Saturday – Check the website for a full schedule: Otherwise, the Presidential Office Building is partially open on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. (Visitors should enter the building before 11:30 a.m.).