Thu, Apr 18, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Hung Lu residents oppose designation

CULTURAL ASSET:Residents of the building designed by Wang Da-hong said that the decision would make it difficult to sell the property or apply for urban renewal

By Yang Hsin-hui and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A photograph taken on Monday shows balconies overlooking the atrium of architect Wang Da-hong’s Hung Lu building on Jinan Road in Taipei’s Daan District.

Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government’s Cultural Assets Review Committee on Monday designated the Hung Lu (虹廬) building a cultural asset, despite objections from the building’s residents.

Thirteen committee members voted 9-4 to list the building as a cultural asset.

The residents said they would contest the decision via legal means.

Architect Wang Da-hong (王大閎) designed the building in 1984 and oversaw its construction.

The residents raised their objections to the building being designated a cultural asset when the Taipei Department of Culture and the committee inspected it in July last year.

They said that once the building is listed, they could face difficulties when applying for an urban renewal project, adding that they have handed the forms for an application to department officials during the inspection.

Resident Lee Chih-fu (李志甫) said that he was sorry to hear the decision.

The decision contravenes residents’ right to property, as it would make it nearly impossible to sell their apartments, Lee added.

The residents’ wishes should be respected, said Lin Yi-chen (林宜蓁), who represents people who own properties in the building.

The decision contravenes residents’ constitutionally guaranteed right to own property, Lin said, adding that the building’s age and renovations have greatly altered its original design.

The building is representative of Wang’s work, committee member Kuo Chiung-ying (郭瓊瑩) said, adding that its aura of mystery and quality of a quiet haven in a metropolis are reasons to preserve the building as a cultural asset, despite alterations to its original design.

Committee member Hsueh Chin (薛琴) said that negotiating with the residents was important and the city would compensate them with apartments of the same size as their current residences.

The right to property must be protected and it is possible for other organizations, including the city government, to purchase the building and repurpose it into a public area, Kuo added.

The Wang Da-hong Architectural Research and Preservation Association had said it was willing to purchase the building, but balked at its price of more than NT$100 million (US$3.24 million).

The residents said they were willing to sell their properties at market prices to interested parties.

Wang’s more famous public works in the city are the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building.

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