Lonely Planet review
Ximending's most iconic building was built in 1908 to serve as Taipei's first public market. These days it's a multifunctional cultural centre with regular live performances and exhibitions. There's an artist and designer weekend market in the north square (2pm to 9.30pm Saturday and Sunday) and 16 studios selling the works of local designers (2pm to 9.30pm Tuesday to Sunday) behind the main entrance.
In the Japanese era, the Red House came to symbolise the bustling commercialism of the Ximending district. Post-WWII it was an opera house, performance theatre, movie theatre and, finally, derelict building. These days it's once again the centrepiece of the district. Riverside Live House is at the back of the complex, and in the south court are a dozen or so restaurants and bars, many catering to the city's gay crowd.