Taiwan in general and Kaohsiung particularly is not renown for its architecture. There are some worthy modern buildings and some nice old ones but for the most part, Kaohsiung is full of ceramic tiled, rust stained concrete boxes.
Most of Kaohsiung has been built in the last 60 years. The first half of that period people were poor and the national identity characterised Taiwan as a temporary refuge before returning to the mainland. There was neither the money nor the pride to build beautiful houses.
The last 30 years Taiwan has increased its wealth but I contend it is yet to find a pleasing national style that combines concrete, steel and ceramics beyond simple functional boxes.
On a couple of recent outings I captured a number of interesting houses in Kaohsiung.
Initially the intention was to capture some of the old wooden houses that might have some Japanese architectural influence. There are a few wooden houses in Kaohsiung, they are old and quickly vanishing. I read they are difficult to insure.
If you look up past the overhead power lines and rust stains some other small gems can be found.
Like these few with a tinge of 1960′s art-deco influences
The deep red brick houses can be quite attractive. Most red bricks are porous so they don’t make practical exterior walls unless they are eaved or are double course.
There is still the odd traditional house to be found inside the city.
A three story house squeezed onto a slither of land.
An old dormitory house of Taiwan Power Company. The sign still rests above a chained closed door.
Here are a few examples of styling on facades.
But you really have to look hard to see past the plain old ugly.
There are plenty more pictures in the Kaohsiung Houses album section.