A flourish of adaptive reuse activity is transforming Taipei’s historic Dihua Street into a hotbed for tourism, creative retail, and cultural education. Case in point: B+P Architects’ renovation of a 19th century rice mill into a natural foods store stocking locally grown and produced products. Carried out over the course of three years, the project—known as Inverted Truss—carefully preserved many historic elements while adding a contemporary and modular design.
Completed in 2016, Inverted Truss was created in collaboration with the Yeh Family, who has owned the property for five generations. To minimize damage to the building, the architect created a modular and lightweight timber structure inserted into the front of the building. Designed with built-in lighting and shelving, the new framework of timber trusses and panels injects a contemporary new look to the space and while leaving the original ceiling beams from 1890 exposed. Thanks to its modularity, the structure can also be easily removed and amended.
“We remain considerable amount of existing furniture and grain equipment replaced back to the space to give its presence of the historic context,” wrote B+P Architects. “The timber used for the truss is made from Japanese cypress that is also used to make gain utensils at the time as well.” The store is used to promote the different varieties of rice grown in Taiwan as well as other locally made products such as noodles, soy sauce, craft beer and tea. The back of the building has been converted into an events space with offices and a residential unit above.
Images by Hey! Cheese