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Monday, December 27, 2010

Taiwan: Taipei 101

Hearing and seeing it on television already gives you awe.  What more to see it in real form?  Considered as one of the "7 Wonders of the World" by Newsweek Magazine and "7 Wonders of Engineering" by The Discovery Channel, having it stand right in front of your very eyes was just amazing!

It used to be the tallest building in the world, standing at 1,670 feet.  I wanted to see it when it still claimed that throne, but didn't had the chance at that time.  It is now ranked as 2nd in the world, just next to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The structure of Taipei 101 reflects an Asian pagoda, a bamboo stalk, and a stack of Chinese money boxes.  The Asian pagoda represents a tower that links the earth and the sky.  The bamboo stalk is a symbol of learning and growth.  Then the Chinese money boxes is a symbol of abundance. 

The building was carefully designed from inside out.  Even the location site where it was built on was studied by Feng Shui experts.  From the view on the entrance doors, there are coins with holes that were shaped to signify the arabic numerals 101.  I didn't get the chance to take a picture of the actual logo outside the building because of the rain.  The logo of Taipei 101 were golden coins that had the numbers 1-0-1 in them, similar to the one in the entrance doors, but in gold.

Taipei 101 entrance

The building is considered as a mall, with office spaces in the higher floors.  The basement houses the food area and supermarket.  The food area occupies the whole basement, which is very big.  But during lunch time, it was still filled up by people coming from outside and those working inside it.  There were a lot of types of food to choose from.

Taipei 101 food court

The establishments inside the mall has a high target market.  It is pretty obvious when you see all the high-end brands surrounding all the different floors.

Taipei 101 mall. Such brands available are Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, A.Testoni, and the likes

Now for the fun part... Going to the top of the building.  We went to the 5th floor to buy entrance tickets to the observatory floor, which is on the 89th floor.  The ticket costs NT$400 per person.  That would be equivalent to around Php600.   The elevator going up moved very smooth and very fast.  It was so steady and gets you up in around 36 seconds.

The view from the observatory showed many tourist spots in Taipei.  Some say that you can already see the curve of the earth from there, though I didn't notice it.  We were also provided with a mobile phone-shaped device that served as an audio while viewing the from the different angles outside the window.

View from the observatory floor

Miniature of the world's fastest elevator car, used in Taipei 101

As high-tech as it can get, it also has constructed a mass damper made from a steel pendulum.  This damper is located from the 92 nd to the 88th floor of the building.  So what does this very expensive damper doing suspended very high in the building?  By the way, the damper costs NT$132 million, or Php198 million.  The damper serves as protection to strong wind movements, and it offsets any movements made to the building and prevents any damage to the structure.  This is by far the largest damper ever made in the world.

Damper technology used in Taipei 101


lakwatsera de primera said...

I wonder how it feels like to bungee jump from that tower :), very informative post Stanley!

Stan said...

Thanks claire!
I'd love to see you try bungee jumping from the top of the tower.
If you visit Taipei 101, I'm sure you'll be also see how great it is


Nice photos!

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