National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute

Arts Centre in Zhongzheng

This striking red-and-white building, with its circular neoclassical Chinese-style roof, dates back to just 1956. It now houses the Craft Research and Development Institute. The 2nd floor showcases Taiwanese-designed and -made gift products – everything from stylish chopsticks to ceramics. The 3rd and 4th floors are used for free craft exhibitions and craft workshops (jewellery, leather and fabrics). There's an organic buffet restaurant on the rooftop. Don't miss the circular lift, the spiral staircases and the glazed roof tiles.

The institute is part of the Nanhai Academy, a small campus of buildings surrounded by classical Chinese gardens dedicated to the arts and culture constructed during the 1950s. While one houses a working radio station and is off limits to the public, the back building, the National Taiwan Arts Education Center, is now open and exhibits work by art students. The gardens and renovated architecture are impressive.