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Great Results for Tainan City Heritage Architectural Material Vault in the Past Two Years: Reviving Old Materials and Strengthening Management Capacity
Update:2019-08-22
  In order to promote the reuse and revival of old building materials, Tainan City Government set up the Tainan City Heritage Architectural Material Vault in July, 2017, a pioneer in Taiwan. To date the Vault has been operating for two years, storing historical building materials and launching educational programs. Through systematic storage and management strategies, old building materials have been used in repair and renovation projects such as historic sites, historic buildings, and old houses. The Vault also launches workshops, lectures, and events to help inform the general public and organizations with similar goals about the value of old building materials and the benefits of reusing them.
According to a statistic published by the Tainan Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, 22 donations have been made to the Vault during the second year of operation, including from the Former Tainan District Court, the Former Tainan City Police Headquarters, the Old Julius Mannich Merchant House, and some private corporations and individual donations. Additionally, some contractors will contact the Vault after an old house has been torn down, if they think any of the remaining materials are of value or can be reused. Consequently, the Vault has been able to restore more than 9,000 pieces of building materials. Roof tiles constitute the majority, followed by wood, doors, and windows. Some materials have already been used in the 17 projects conducted in the previous two years, such as the Old Tainan State Agricultural Research Institute manager’s residential building, the Old Julius Mannich Merchant House, the Yi Chang Rice Factory in Houbi, Baihe Shen Family Shrine, Lutaoyang Chiang Family Shrine, Sian Cheng Furniture in Houbi, and “mise en abyme,” a creation by Chao Shu-jung, a residing artist at Siao-Long Cultural Park.

The materials stored in the Vault can not only be used in the repair and renovation of historic sites, they can also be a great medium for educational purposes and artistic creation. In fact, converting the materials into a NTD value would result in a sum of nearly 12 million NTD. Up to July 2019, around 1 million and 80,000 NTD worth of materials have been reused, which is tantamount to a significant reduction of the city government’s expenses on maintaining historic sites. The Vault will soon celebrate its third year of operation. The management team really looks forward to seeing additional materials being received and reused.
According to the Tainan Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, its workshops and lecture classes have resulted in more and more people recognizing and wanting to know more about the reuse and revival of old building materials. This demonstrates that residents in Tainan really value our culture and environment. The opening hours of the Tainan City Heritage Architectural Material Vault are 8:30-12:00 and 13:00-17:30 (Monday to Friday). We would like to invite everyone to visit the Vault. When you come, we welcome any questions you may have. Bring your curiosity, and together let’s promote the reuse of valuable old buildings materials.