Taipei 101 ( ), also known
as the Taipei Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper
located in Xinyi
District, Taipei, Taiwan.
building became the world's
upon its completion in 2004. as certified by
on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
. Taipei 101, designed by
C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed primarily by KTRT Joint Venture
and Samsung Engineering &
received the 2004 Emporis Skyscraper Award
hailed as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World (Newsweek
magazine, 2006) and Seven Wonders of
Engineering (Discovery Channel
2005). The tower is an icon of modern Taiwan. Fireworks
launched from Taipei 101 feature
prominently in international New Year's
broadcasts and the structure appears frequently in travel
literature and international media.
Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors
underground. The name of the tower (pronounced "one oh one" in
English) reflects its floor count and carries symbolic meanings
alluding to technology and Asian tradition (see "Symbolism"
below.) Its postmodernist
approach to style incorporates
traditional design elements and gives them modern treatments. The
tower is designed to withstand typhoons
. A multi-level shopping mall
adjoining the tower houses hundreds of fashionable stores,
restaurants and clubs.
is owned by the Taipei Financial Center
Corporation (TFCC) and managed by the International division of
Urban Retail Properties Corporation based in Chicago.
name originally planned for the building, Taipei World
, was derived from the name of the owner.
The original name in Chinese
literally, Taipei International Financial Center
was overtaken in height on 2007 July 21 by the Burj Dubai in Dubai, UAE, upon completion of the Burj's 141st floor.
Taipei 101 retains the title of "world's tallest building",
however, as international architectural standards define a
"building" as a completed structure capable of being occupied. The
Burj Dubai is expected to reach completion in January 2010.
is likely to retain the title of the Asia-Pacific region's tallest skyscraper until
2014, when its height will be surpassed by the
Lotte Super Tower 123 in
Taipei 101 has 101 stories above ground and five underground. Upon
its completion Taipei 101 claimed the official records for:
for greatest height from ground to pinnacle
remains with the Willis
Tower in Chicago (USA):
. In 2008, the Shanghai World
Financial Center overtook Taipei 101 in roof height and highest
Taipei 101 was the first building in the world to break the
half-kilometer mark in height. It was the first "world's tallest
building" to be constructed in the new millennium.
displaced the Petronas
Towers in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, as the tallest building in the world by .
displaced the 85-story, Tuntex Sky Tower in Kaohsiung as the tallest building in Taiwan and the 51-story,
Life Tower as the tallest building in Taipei.
Various sources, including the building's owners, give the height
of Taipei 101 as , roof height and top floor height as and . This
lower figure is derived by measuring from the top of a platform at
the base. CTBUH standards, though, include the height of the
platform in calculating the overall height, as it represents part
of the man-made structure and is above the level of the surrounding
Taipei 101 is designed to withstand the typhoon
winds and earthquake
tremors common in its area of the
. Planners aimed for a
structure that could withstand gale winds of 60 m/s (197 ft/s,
216 km/h, 134 mi/h) and the strongest earthquakes likely
to occur in a 2,500 year cycle.
must be flexible in strong
winds yet remain rigid enough to prevent large sideways movement
(lateral drift). Flexibility prevents structural damage while
resistance ensures comfort for the occupants and protection of
glass, curtain walls
features. Most designs achieve the necessary strength by enlarging
critical structural elements such as bracing. The extraordinary
height of Taipei 101 combined with the demands of its environment
called for additional innovations on the part of engineers.
The design achieves both strength and flexibility for the tower
through the use of high-performance steel construction. Thirty-six
columns support Taipei 101, including eight "mega-columns" packed
with 10,000-psi concrete. Every eight floors, outrigger trusses
connect the columns in the building's core to those on the
These features combine with the solidity of its foundation
to make Taipei 101 one
of the most stable buildings ever constructed. The foundation is
reinforced by 380 piles driven into the ground, extending as far as
into the bedrock. Each pile is in diameter and can bear a load of -
. The stability of the design became evident during construction
when, on March 31, 2002, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Taipei.
The tremor was strong enough to topple two construction cranes from
the 56th floor, then the highest, and killed five people in the
accident. An inspection afterwards showed no structural damage to
the building and construction soon resumed.
along with Evergreen Consulting Engineering designed
a steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper
, at a cost of NT$132
million (US$4 million). Suspended from the 92nd to the 88th floor,
the pendulum sways to offset movements in the building caused by
strong gusts. Its sphere, the largest damper sphere in the world,
consists of 41 circular steel plates, each with a height of being
welded together to form a diameter sphere. Another two tuned mass
dampers, each weighing , sit at the tip of the spire. These prevent
damage to the structure due to strong wind loads.
Taipei 101's characteristic blue-green glass curtain walls are
double glazed, offer heat and UV
can sustain impacts of .
101, like all spire structures, participates in the symbolism of
the axis mundi
: a world center
where earth and sky meet and the four compass directions
The height of 101 floors commemorates the renewal of time: the new
century that arrived as the tower was built (100+1) and all the new
years that follow (January 1 = 1-01). It symbolizes high ideals by
going one better on 100, a traditional number of perfection. The
number also evokes the binary
used in digital technology.
The main tower features a series of eight segments of eight floors
each. In Chinese-speaking cultures the number eight
is associated with abundance, prosperity and good
. In cultures that observe a seven-day week the number
eight symbolizes a renewal of time (7+1). In digital technology the
number eight is associated with the byte
8 bits. A bit is the basic unit of information.
repeated segments simultaneously recall the rhythms of an Asian
pagoda (a tower linking earth and sky, also
evoked in the Petronas
Towers), a stalk of bamboo (an icon
of learning and growth), and a stack of ancient Chinese ingots or
money boxes (a symbol of abundance).
The four discs mounted
on each face of the building where the pedestal meets the tower
represent coins. The emblem placed over entrances shows three gold
coins of ancient design with central holes shaped to imply the
figures appear throughout the
structure as a design motif
ruyi is an ancient symbol associated with heavenly clouds
. It connotes healing, protection and
fulfilment. It appears in celebrations of the attainment of new
career heights. Each ruyi ornament on the exterior of the Taipei
101 tower stands at least tall. The sweeping curved roof of the
adjoining mall culminates in a colossal ruyi that shades
pedestrians. Though the shape of each ruyi at Taipei 101 is
traditional, its metallic interpretation is plainly modern.
At night the bright yellow gleam from its pinnacle casts Taipei 101
in the role of a candle or torch
ideals of liberty and welcome. From 6:00 to 10:00 each evening the
tower's lights display one of seven colours in the spectrum
. The colours coincide with the days of the
The cycle through the spectrum connects the tower with the rich
symbolism of rainbows as
bridges linking earth to sky and earth's peoples to one
Millennium Park adjoins Taipei 101 on the east and connects the
landmark further with the symbolism of time. The design of the
circular park allows it to double as the face of a sundial. The tower itself casts the shadow to
indicate afternoon hours for the building's occupants. The park's
design is echoed in a clock that stands at its
entrance. The clock runs on energy drawn
from the building's wind shear.
101, like many of its neighbours, shows the influence of
feng shui philosophy. An example
appears in the form of a large granite fountain at the intersection
of Songlian Road and Xinyi Road near the tower's east entrance. A
ball at the fountain's top spins toward the tower. As a work of
public art, the fountain offers a contrast to the tower in texture
even as its design echoes the tower's rhythms. Yet the fountain
also serves a practical function in feng shui philosophy.
A T intersection near the entrance of a building
represents a potential drain of positive energy, or ch'i, from a structure and its occupants. Flowing
water placed at such spots remedy the situation by generating a
positive inward flow of ch'i. The fountain applies a
traditional solution to a traditional challenge yet its design
Taipei 101 merges ancient motifs and ideas with modern techniques
and materials. As a landmark it renews the symbolism of all tall
towers as cosmic centers. Its
interplaying symbols speak of optimism, abundance, and the
ever-renewing cycles of time.
Taipei 101 is the first record-setting skyscraper to be constructed in the twenty-first
century. Appropriately it exhibits a number of technologically
advanced features as it provides a center for business and
Taipei 101 Mall
The original 2004 fiber-optic and
connections permitted transfer speeds up to a gigabyte per second.
The double-deck elevators built
by the Japanese Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation
(TELC) set a new record in 2004 with top ascending speeds of per
second (60.6 km/h, 37.7 mi/h). This speed is 34.7
percent faster than the previous record holders of the Yokohama
Landmark Tower elevator, Yokohama, Japan,
which speeds of per second (45.0 km/h, 28.0 mi/h).
Taipei 101's elevators sweep visitors from the fifth floor to the
89th-floor observatory in only 37 seconds. Each elevator features
an aerodynamic body, full pressurization, state-of-the art emergency
braking systems, and the world's first triple-stage
anti-overshooting system. The cost for each elevator is NT$80
million (US$2.4 million).
A 660 metric ton (728 short ton) tuned
mass damper stabilizes the tower against movements caused by
high winds. The damper can reduce up to 40% of the tower's
movements (see "Construction").
The observatories are located in the 91st and 89th floors. (See
Two restaurants have opened on the 85th floor: Diamond Tony's,
which offers European-style seafood and steak, and Shin Yeh 101
(欣葉), which offers Taiwanese-style cuisine. Occupying all of the
86th floor is Japanese restaurant XEX.
The multi-story retail mall adjoining the tower is home to hundreds
of fashionable stores, restaurants, clubs and other attractions.
The mall's interior is modern in design even as it makes use of
traditional elements. The curled ruyi
symbol (see "Exterior
symbolism" above) is a recurring motif inside the mall. Many features of
the interior also observe feng
Taipei 101 features an Indoor Observatory (89th floor) and an Outdoor
Observatory (91st floor). Both offer 360-degree views and attract
visitors from around the world.
The Indoor Observatory stands above ground. The elevator, running
at 1010 meters per minute, takes visitors from the 5th floor to the
89th floor in 37 seconds. The Indoor Observatory offers a
comfortable environment, large windows with UV protection, recorded
voice tours in eight languages, and informative displays and
special exhibits. Here one may view the skyscraper's main damper,
nicknamed "Damper Baby", and buy food, drinks and gift items.
Two more flights of stairs take visitors up to the Outdoor
Observatory. The Outdoor Observatory, at above ground, is the
second-highest observation deck ever provided in a skyscraper and
the highest such platform in Taiwan.
The Indoor Observatory is open twelve hours a day (10:00 am–10:00
pm) throughout the week as well as on special occasions; the
Outdoor Observatory is open during the same hours as weather
permits. Tickets may be purchased on site in the shopping mall (5th
floor) or in advance through the Observatory's web site (see
links below). Tickets cost NT$400
(US$13) and allow access to the 88th through 91st floors via
Many works of art appear in and around Taipei 101. These include:
- Rebecca Horn (Germany).
Dialogue between Yin and Yang. 2002. Steel, iron.
- Robert Indiana (USA).
Love and 1-0. 2002. Aluminum.
- Ariel Moscovici (France).
Between Earth and Sky. 2002. Rose de la claret
- Chung Pu (Taiwan). Global
Circle. 2002. Black granite, white marble.
- Jill Watson (Britain). City Composition. 2002.
The Indoor Observatory hosts a regular series of exhibitions. The
artists represented include Wu Ching (gold sculpture), Ping-huang
Chang (traditional painting) and Po-lin Chi (aerial
A number of enterprises maintain offices in Taipei 101. A few that
have been featured in public announcements include these:
- ABN AMRO Bank, 1/F
- Anthony's Group Holding Company Ltd, 37/F
- Bayer Taiwan, 53/F - 54/F
- The Boston Consulting Group, 61/F
- Cosmos Bank, 5th Floor
- DBS Bank Ltd, 28/F, Unit B
- Emirates Advocates Taiwan (Emirates Trade Commission)
- The Executive Centre, 37/F
- Fulland Securities Consultant Company Ltd (a Hantec Group
- GoldBank of Taiwan
- Google Taiwan, 73/F
- HVB Bank
- ING Antai
- ING SITE (affiliate of Internationale Nederlanden Groep N.V.,
- ING SCE (affiliate of Internationale Nederlanden Groep N.V., or
- Jones Lang LaSalle
- McKinsey & Company Taiwan
- PeopleSearch Taiwan
- People's King
- SABIC Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
- Starbucks Coffee
- Taiwan Ratings Corporation
- Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation (TSEC)
- Winterthur Life Taiwan
Restaurants in the tower include XEX, Diamond Tony's and Shin Yeh
101 (欣葉). Hundreds of international dining establishments and
retail outlets also operate in the adjoining mall.
Important dates in the planning and construction of Taipei 101
include the following:
|October 20, 1997
||Development and operation rights agreement signed with Taipei
|January 13, 1998
|August 10, 1998
||Construction license awarded for 101 stories.
|April 13, 1999
||Design change to 509.2 m height approved by Taipei City
|June 7, 2000
||First tower column erected.
|June 13, 2001
||Taipei 101 Mall topped out.
|May 13, 2003
||Taipei 101 Mall obtains occupancy permit.
|July 1, 2003
||Taipei 101 Tower roof completed.
|October 17, 2003
|November 14, 2003
||Taipei 101 Mall opens.
|April 15, 2004
on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) certifies Taipei
101 as world's tallest building.
|November 12, 2004
||Tower obtains occupancy permit.
|December 31, 2004
||Tower opens to the public.
|January 1, 2005
||First New Year fireworks show begins at midnight.
Planning for Taipei 101 began in 1997 during Chen Shui-bian's term as Taipei mayor. Talks
between merchants and city government officials initially centered
on a proposal for a 66-story tower to serve as an anchor for new
development in Taipei's 101 business district. By the time the
ground-breaking ceremony took place on January 13, 1998 planners
were considering taking the new structure to a more ambitious
height. Ten months later the city granted a license for the
construction of a 101-story tower on the site. Construction
proceeded and the first tower column was erected in summer
Taipei 101's Millennium Park (seen
from the Indoor Observatory, noon)
Taipei 101's roof was completed three years later on July 1, 2003.
Ma Ying-jeou, in his first term as
Taipei mayor, fastened a golden bolt to signify the achievement.
Three months later the pinnacle was placed.
The formal opening of the tower took place on New Year's Eve 2004.
President Chen Shui-bian, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou and Legislative
Speaker Wang Jin-pyng cut the ribbon.
Open-air concerts featured a number of popular performers,
including singers A-Mei and Sun Yan Zi. Visitors rode the elevators to the
Observatory for the first time. A few hours later the first
fireworks show at Taipei 101 heralded the arrival of a new
The Taipei Financial
Center Corporation (TFCC) announced plans on 2009 November 2 to
make Taipei 101 "the world's tallest green building" by summer
2011. The project aims to secure Leadership in Energy
and Environment Design (LEED) certification for Taipei 101 at a
cost of NT$60 million (US$1.8 million). The modifications, once
made, would save an estimated NT$20 million a year in energy
Taipei 101 is the site of innumerable special events. Art exhibits,
as noted above, regularly take place in the Observatory. A few
noteworthy dates since the tower's opening include these.
- December 25, 2004 - French rock
and urban climber Alain Robert makes an authorized climb to the
top of the pinnacle in four hours.
- February 28, 2005 - Former American president Bill Clinton visits and signs copies of his
- April 19, 2005 - Tower displays the formula
in lights to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of
Einstein's theory of relativity. The display, the
largest of 65,000 such displays in 47 countries, is part of the
international celebration Physics
Enlightens the World.
- November 20, 2005 - First annual Taipei 101 Run Up features a
race up the 2,046 steps from floors 1 to 91. Proceeds benefit
Taiwan's Olympic teams. Men's race is
won by Paul Crake of Australia (10 minutes, 29 seconds) and women's
race by Andrea Mayr of Austria (12 minutes, 38 seconds).
- October 20, 2006 - Tower displays a pink ribbon in lights to
promote breast cancer awareness.
ten-day campaign is sponsored by Taipei 101's ownership and
- December 12, 2007 - Austrian base
jumper Felix Baumgartner
survives an unauthorized parachute jump from Taipei 101's 91st
- June 15, 2008 - Taipei 101 Run Up features 2,500 participants.
race is won by Thomas Dold of Germany (10 minutes, 53 seconds);
2007 champion Marco De Gasperi of Italy finishes second and Chen
Fu-tsai of Taiwan finishes
third. Women's race is won by Lee Hsiao-yu of
Taiwan (14 minutes, 53 seconds).
New Year's Eve fireworks
Since 2003, Taipei 101 has turned off the lights from the lower
parts to the upper parts to count down for the new year; After
2007, it changed to lighting the building up from the lower parts
to the upper parts.
- 2003–2004: Spinning lights were temporarily placed on the floor
91 for the sound and light show, but no fireworks were used.
- 2004–2005: The first fireworks display after the building was
completed. The whole show last for 35 seconds and the fireworks
were shot from a balcony.
- 2005–2006: Lengthened the time of the fireworks display, from
35 seconds to 128 seconds. Dozens of entertainers attended the
5-hour-long New Year's Eve party. Sony
sponsored the event, its advertisement was placed on the building
after the fireworks display.
- 2006–2007: The sponsor was again Sony and the time was extended
again, to 188 seconds. The budget for the event was about
- 2007–2008: Further expansion, not of the duration, but the
number of fireworks. There were 9,000 fireworks used in the
previous year, but this year 12,000 were used.
- 2008–2009: The main theme was "Love Taiwan With Your
Heart In 2009". Four colours, red, blue, green and yellow,
represented happiness, macroscopic views, sustainability, and
- 2009-2010: Fireworks will be displayed this year due to
regained sponsor for the fireworks.
cosmic pillarImage:101.red-dusk.altonthompson.jpg|Taipei 101 at
dusk (Monday)Image:Taipei 101 at night.jpg|Taipei 101 at night,
fully lit (rare)Image:Taipei_night_view_from_Xiangshan.jpg|Night
view of Taipei 101 from Xiangshan Peak, Xinyi
DistrictImage:Taipei101- Taipei City Hall view.jpg|Taipei 101 from
lighting in December
April 19, 2005Image:Taipei101_HappyNewYear2006.jpg|Taipei 101
, 2006Image:IMG_7569.jpg|Taipei 101 New
Year's fireworks, 2008Image:2008TaipeiCityNewYearCountdownParty
Firework Taipei101.jpg|Taipei 101 New Year's fireworks,
2008Image:Taipei_101_2008_NewYear_Firework.jpg|Taipei 101 New
Year's fireworks, 2008Image:2009 Taipei 101 Love Taiwan Firework
from upper angle.jpg|Taipei 101 New Year's fireworks,
101Image:Taipei101upwards.jpg|Taipei 101 view from street