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CEO1950 Presidential Art Space is Taipei’s new elite dining experience

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Photo from DOCA
The renovated CEO1950 Presidential Art Space has bay windows on the first floor and white-framed single and double hung windows on the second floor. The lower section has straight, gray clapboard exterior panels that complement the house’s cream-colored upper wall section.

By Leo Maliksi
 
In 1951, the Central Bank of the R.O.C. bought a house at no. 24 Lane 62 Xinsheng North Road Section 3. The house was originally owned by wealthy businessman Ding Wushi (丁武始) and was used by the Central Bank as an official residence for top government officials.
 
Former residents include Mr. Xu Po-yuan (徐柏園), who served as governor of the Central Bank of the R.O.C. (CBC) from 1960 to 1969, and Mr. Zhang Dao-min (張導民), who served as Auditor-General of the R.O.C. in 1968 and President of the Control Yuan in 1981.
 
The Rain’s talk Co. Ltd. (話雨人文生活), a Taiwanese umbrella manufacturer, won the bid to renovate and run what is now known as the “CEO1950 Presidential Art Space” or simply CEO1950. The Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs opened the premises to bidding under the Old Houses Reconstruction Project (OHRP).
 
Rain’s talk worked with Qingdao Culture Makers (青鳥文化制作) an architectural design firm, to transform the former government officials’ residence into a high-class dining venue where diners can relish exquisite cuisine in a tastefully designed interior.

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Photo by LRM
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wenje, center, said that the Department of Cultural Affairs has used creativity in gathering additional resources from the people of Taipei to implement the Old Houses Reconstruction Project. To his right is Rain’s talk president Mr. Wu Chifeng (吳其峯). To his left stands Mr. Xu Xiao-bo (徐小波), a son of former occupant Mr. Xu Po-yuan (徐柏園).
 
“In the future, CEO1950 will be a venue for lectures on art and talks on a variety of cultural topics,” said Rain’s talk president Mr. Wu Chifeng (吳其峯). “This art space reflects our company’s brand story, a story borne out of Taiwan’s rainy weather.”

Umbrellas with creative canopies
 
Rain’s talk specializes in umbrellas with creative designs, in response to government calls to bring more creativity to Taiwan’s traditional industries such as umbrella-making.
 
“After all, rain has a healing function,” said Wu. “Rainy weather dispels the agitation we usually experience in our lives. This art space can help us re-charge the energy we need to work.”
 
“On the culinary side of things, our master chef Jackie Chang (張億興) has much experience in creating gastronomic masterpieces in France. We will also hold outdoor concerts and book exhibitions. This is the start of a new history of this renovated building.”
 
DOCA creativity in obtaining additional resources

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Photo from DOCA
The former government officials’ residence is now a high-class dining venue where diners can enjoy exquisite cuisine in a tastefully designed interior.
 
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wenje said during the opening on June 20 that everyone plays an important role in the preservation of the city’s cultural assets.
 
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wenje, center, said that the Department of Cultural Affairs has used creativity in gathering additional resources from the people of Taipei to implement the Old Houses Reconstruction Project.
 
Taipei City Government jump-started what is now called the Old Houses Reconstruction Project 2.0 in 2017. The new version of the project allows private organizations to deduct the cost of renovation and monthly management expenses from a monthly fee paid to the city government. This encourages private groups to inject new life into old houses and put them to good use after renovation.

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Photo by LRM
Ribbon-cutting to inaugurate the CEO1950 Presidential Art Space. The umbrellas represent Rain’s talk Co. Ltd. (話雨人文生活), a Taiwanese umbrella manufacturer.
 
“CEO1950 Presidential Art Space is the 13th cultural asset that has been outsourced to a private group to renovate and manage,” said Mayor Ko. “We hope that we can continue to rely on the support of our people to give new life to such cultural assets and thus enhance the cultural charm of our city.”
 
Mayor Ko and Deputy Mayor Ping-kun Tsai attended the opening press conference. Mr. Wu Chifeng, the president of Rain’s talk Co. Ltd. and Mr. Xu Xiao-bo, a son of former occupant Mr. Xu Po-yuan were also present. Mr. Xu Boyuan (許伯元), the architect of CEO1950, and interior designer Mr. Pang Zhenxi (龐甄嬉) were also in attendance.
 
Classic interior design and friendldy management

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Photo by LRM
Ms. Wang Liao (王聊), left, is the wife and business partner of Mr. Wu Chifeng.

Huayu president Mr. Wu Qifeng and Ms. Wang Liao (王聊), his wife and business partner, said that every corner of CEO1950 will radiate a classic interior design and a friendly management style. “We spared no effort or expense to reproduce this building’s aesthetic ambience that reflects its original stately character,” said Wu.
 
From the outside, CEO1950 Presidential Art Space looks like a recently renovated two-story house, dwarfed by high-rise apartment buildings. Originally built in a Japanese style, it has a floor area of 210.55 m2. At the rear of the property, there once stood a pit-house, a small shelter for animals, which has now been converted into a kitchen.
 
The renovated house has bay windows on the first floor and white-framed single and double hung windows on the second floor. The lower section has straight, gray clapboard exterior panels that complement the cream-colored upper wall section. Step inside and you see semi-Tudor style décor. Glass-cased incandescent bulbs provide just the right amount of light for an evening of dining and conversation.
 
Mr. Xu Boyuan and his team took the old staircase as the unifying center of the interior design, maximizing the use of interior space to make the different rooms more distinct, which was not possible with the previous, Japanese domestic design. The wooden flooring and some sliding doors were retained.
 
After the press conference, Mayor Ko and the other guests went outside for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Before cutting the ribbon, they all held up umbrellas to signify the peaceful haven that Taipei citizens will find in CEO1950 Presidential Art Space.