Former Taipei granary transformed into farmer’s market
As part of the city drive to reuse and revitalize old buildings, a farmer’s market has opened up on the former site of Taipei’s first granary, the aptly named Granary No. 1.
The new market offers fresh, high-quality produce and local delicacies, and at the same time the renovated site explores what agriculture means for Taipei and reinterprets Taiwan’s love for food and drink.
Located in the center of Taipei, Granary No. 1 was one of the many standardized 25x12 meter food stores built during the Japanese colonial era. This particular Japanese-style storehouse was built at the end of that era, and played an important role storing grain to maintain adequate food supplies for the city at a point in the Second World War that saw frequent airstrikes. When the Kuomintang took over Taiwan in 1949, the buildings were used to store bags of rice for a brief period.
Launched by the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs, the Old House Cultural Movement Project is an effort to revitalize and reuse old and sometimes deserted historic buildings, typically by collaborating with non-governmental organizations to restore and transform them into new sites that blend tradition and culture with recreational or business elements.
Granary No. 1, comprising the storehouse and a staff dormitory next to it, features wide-spaced purlins of hinoki (Taiwan cypress) and multi-layered brick walls that are sophisticatedly designed to keep out humidity and heat. Of particular interest are the holes in the walls left by artillery shells during airstrikes. Skylights added during the restoration lighten up the interior and provide a soft interplay of light and shadow on the wooden beams and brick walls.
Taipei-based Lead Jade Life & Culture now runs the property, its second such revitalization project. The team spent three years restoring and renovating the building before turning it into a farmer’s market and diner. The market, the “No. 1 Food Theater”, is on the first floor. As the name suggests, the intention is to tell the stories of the produce and products in the multipurpose space, with exhibitions or food-making demonstrations taking place right among the high-quality, fresh local vegetables. Gourmets and gourmands alike will love the brasserie located on thesecond-floor, named Leputing Brasserie. Here, customers can enjoy fresh, locally-grown produce and exquisite dishes and also gain an insight into the relationship between agriculture and the city as they dine in this historic building.
Scheduled exhibitions and live shows are also held on the first floor. During its initial soft opening period, the brasserie is currently serving only lunch and dinner. The market is closed on Mondays.
For more information, please contact 02-2775- 1689.