Puli's Taomi Community (埔里鎮桃米區), which has a population of 1,200, suffered very heavy damage in the 921 Earthquake. Since its rebuilding it has successfully repositioned itself as an ecotourism destination. Apart from the area's natural attractions, the main sight is the Paper Dome (紙教堂). It's not, as the Chinese name implies, a church, but rather a recycled building that should fascinate anyone with an interest in sustainable architecture.
Designed pro bono by award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (坂茂) after the 1995 Kobe Earthuqake, the dome's first life was as Takatori Catholic Church. Completed just nine months after the disaster, it was dismantled in 2005 when the church decided it was no longer big enough for their purposes. The pieces – among them 58 columns, each 32.5cm in diameter and 5m high, made from laminated and fireproofed layers of recycled paper – were donated to the New Homeland Foundation, a Taiwanese charity which shipped the parts here and reassembled the structure. An exterior membrane of steel and waterproof polycarbonate was added to keep out the rain, and the dome opened to the public in 2008.
If possible, arrive just before dusk, tour the neighborhood, and then enjoy the the way in which the church is illuminated.
Take Road 21 out of Puli towards Sun Moon Lake. At km51.5, turn right (westward) and you'll see the Paper Dome on your left. Buses between Puli and Sun Moon Lake stop on the main road, less than 300m from the dome.