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Taipei 101 ( ), also known as the Taipei Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi Districtmarker, Taipeimarker, Taiwanmarker. The building became the world's tallest skyscraper upon its completion in 2004. as certified by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Taipei 101, designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed primarily by KTRT Joint Venture and Samsung Engineering & Construction received the 2004 Emporis Skyscraper Award and was 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 Eve 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 and earthquakes. A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of fashionable stores, restaurants and clubs.

Taipei 101 is owned by the Taipei Financial Center Corporation (TFCC) and managed by the International division of Urban Retail Properties Corporation based in Chicagomarker. The name originally planned for the building, Taipei World Financial Center, was derived from the name of the owner. The original name in Chinese was literally, Taipei International Financial Center ( ).

Taipei 101 was overtaken in height on 2007 July 21 by the Burj Dubaimarker in Dubaimarker, UAEmarker, 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. Taipei 101 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 Seoulmarker, South Koreamarker.



Taipei 101 has 101 stories above ground and five underground. Upon its completion Taipei 101 claimed the official records for:
  • Ground to highest architectural structure (spire): . Previously held by the Petronas Towersmarker .
  • Ground to roof: . Formerly held by the Willis Towermarker .
  • Ground to highest occupied floor: . Formerly held by the Willis Tower .
  • Fastest ascending elevator speed: (60.6 km/h, 37.7 mi/h).
  • Largest countdown clock: On display every New Year's Eve.
  • Tallest sundial. (See 'Symbolism' below.)

The record for greatest height from ground to pinnacle remains with the Willis Towermarker in Chicagomarker (USA): . In 2008, the Shanghai World Financial Centermarker overtook Taipei 101 in roof height and highest occupied floor.

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.

Taipei 101 displaced the Petronas Towersmarker in Kuala Lumpurmarker, Malaysiamarker, as the tallest building in the world by . It also displaced the 85-story, Tuntex Sky Towermarker in Kaohsiungmarker as the tallest building in Taiwan and the 51-story, Shin Kong Life Towermarker 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 pavement.


Taipei 101 is designed to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors common in its area of the Asia-Pacific. 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.

Skyscrapers 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 and other 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 exterior.

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.

Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers 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 protection, and 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 join.

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 numeral system 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 fortune. 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, being 8 bits. A bit is the basic unit of information.

The repeated segments simultaneously recall the rhythms of an Asian pagoda (a tower linking earth and sky, also evoked in the Petronas Towersmarker), 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 Arabic numerals 1-0-1.

ruyi figures appear throughout the structure as a design motif. The 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 upholding the 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 week:

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Color Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet

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 another.

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 remains modern.

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 Mall
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 recreation.

The original 2004 fiber-optic and satellite Internet 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 Towermarker 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 "Observatories" below.)

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 shui traditions.


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 high-speed elevator.


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 granite.
  • Chung Pu (Taiwan). Global Circle. 2002. Black granite, white marble.
  • Jill Watson (Britain). City Composition. 2002. Bronze.

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 photography).


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 subsidiary), 24/F
  • GoldBank of Taiwan
  • Google Taiwan, 73/F
  • HVB Bank
  • ING Antai
  • ING SITE (affiliate of Internationale Nederlanden Groep N.V., or ING)
  • ING SCE (affiliate of Internationale Nederlanden Groep N.V., or ING)
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
  • KPMG
  • 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.

Construction Chronology

Important dates in the planning and construction of Taipei 101 include the following:

Date Event
October 20, 1997 Development and operation rights agreement signed with Taipei City government.
January 13, 1998 Ground-breaking ceremony.
August 10, 1998 Construction license awarded for 101 stories.
April 13, 1999 Design change to 509.2 m height approved by Taipei City government.
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 Pinnacle placed.
November 14, 2003 Taipei 101 Mall opens.
April 15, 2004 Council 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.



Taipei 101's Millennium Park (seen from the Indoor Observatory, noon)
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 2000.

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 year.[29] [30]


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 costs.


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 autobiography.
  • April 19, 2005 - Tower displays the formula E=mc2 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. The ten-day campaign is sponsored by Taipei 101's ownership and Estée Laudermarker.
  • December 12, 2007 - Austrian base jumper Felix Baumgartner survives an unauthorized parachute jump from Taipei 101's 91st floor.
  • June 15, 2008 - Taipei 101 Run Up features 2,500 participants. Men's 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 Taiwanmarker finishes third. Women's race is won by Lee Hsiao-yu of Taiwanmarker (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 $1,000,000.
  • 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 Taiwanmarker With Your Heart In 2009". Four colours, red, blue, green and yellow, represented happiness, macroscopic views, sustainability, and passion, respectively.
  • 2009-2010: Fireworks will be displayed this year due to regained sponsor for the fireworks.


Image:101.tall.altonthompson.jpg|Taipei 101, cosmic|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 Taipei City HallImage:Taipei101_in_Xmas_Tree_Costume.jpg|Taipei 101, Christmas lighting in December 2005Image:Taipei 101-e=mc2.jpg|E=mc2 lighting on April 19, 2005Image:Taipei101_HappyNewYear2006.jpg|Taipei 101 New Year's fireworks, 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, 2009Image:DSCF0591.jpg|Taipei 101|Love at Taipei 101Image:Taipei101upwards.jpg|Taipei 101 view from street level

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