Sunday, September 29, 2013

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The Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store, Taipei

9/29/2013 Taiwan Explorer

Yesterday my wife and I decided to visit the Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store 誠品生活松菸店, a new building that was opened to public this year. It's located in Taipei's Xinyi district, close to the Living Mall and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, and right next to the old Songshan Tobacco Factory from the Japanese times. The design resembling a Mediterranean seaside hotel is visibly standing out from the rest, and seems to be generally liked by the locals. Eslite Spectrum together with the future Taipei Dome (which is still under construction), caused a lot of discussion in the past year. A minority of residents protested against the construction of these two new commercial buildings on the brownfield site, and demanded from the city government to turn the land around the old tobacco factory into a park instead. At the end the prospect of a much needed stadium, and a new commercial site that will boost the local economy, prevailed over turning the expensive land into yet another park (check my list of parks in Taipei to see how green the city already is). Not really knowing what to expect, we headed to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall MRT Station, and slowly walked to the Eslite Spectrum (it took us about 10 minutes).

Let me show you some photos we took of the Eslite Spectrum:

This is the backside of the building stretched along the Shimin Boulevard.

The western facade features a very interesting grid, that covers the whole side.

The front side of the Eslite Spectrum was turned into a beautiful plaza.

This Transformer was part of the Taipei Design Expo 2013 in the Songshan Tobacco Factory.

A lot of people came to visit this area, especially young couples.

There are several restaurants inside the building with a nice view over Xinyi.

We decided to go in and have a look.

Inside The Eslite Spectrum

The Eslite Spectrum is a multi purpose building. There's a hotel, office area, performance hall, retail shops (ground floor), restaurants (2F), tea shops (3F), a food court (B2), and an Eslite book store (3F). Since we visited on a Saturday afternoon, it was very crowded, and therefore troublesome to move around with a baby stroller. Inside it's much smaller than I expected. And prices are pretty high, it's an upscale shopping mall after all. I would advise anyone to visit during the week, when there's less people, and you can spend a few hours exploring the book store, various handicraft shops, and one of those small tea houses.

This is a collage of the interior: Top and left is B2 food court, right is the bookstore.

East of the building is a nice little park with a lake, attracting a lot of people.

The lake is small, but lovely. It ends close to a residential area.

Ducks seem to enjoy it here, too.

The wooden flooring is really nicely complementing the surrounding nature.

This is where families with their kids love to take a break.

Another angle.

The Eslite Spectrum as we were leaving the area.

All in all I believe Eslite Spectrum is a nice little addition to the Xinyi Shopping District, that's now becoming much larger, spanning over the Zhongxiao East Road to the north all the way to the Living Mall, perhaps even Wufenpu and Raohe Night Market. What would make this part more accessible would be one or two MRT stations, and more pedestrian only areas.


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Pinyin: Chéngpǐn Shēnghuó Sōngyān Diàn
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