Taipei 101 is a skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, it's the former tallest building in the world, holding that honor for 5 years since 2004, only surpassed by the current tallest building Burj Khalifa in 2009.
Below are 8 key facts of the building:
1. Taipei 101 stands 508 meters (1667 feet) tall, it's the first building on the planet that breaks half kilometer mark, and had been the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2009, when Burj Khalifa was built.
As of today Taipei 101 is still the tallest building built in an earthquake zone, it is located just 200 meters (660 feet) away from a major fault line, the structure of the tower was designed to resist an earthquake of 9 on the Richter scale.
The building contains a 60m spire structure atop its roof, the roof is at 448m off the ground, and the highest occupied floor height is 438 meters.
2. Taipei 101 features a series of observation decks on its upper floors, the observation decks are at levels 88, 89 and 91, the level 88 is mainly set to let visitors to have a close view of the tuned mass damper, as the damper sphere is hung between the level 88 and 87, and level 89 is an enclosed observation deck, it provides 360 degree view of Taipei from a height of 382 meters.
There's an outdoor round observatory square on the 91st floor of the building, at 392m above the ground, it's now the third highest open-air observation deck in the world.
The observatory on Taipei 101 is seen as the best place to enjoy the night view of Taipei, it has become one of most popular tourist attractions in Taipei.
3. Taipei 101 is currently the only skyscraper in the world that has concerts held on the rooftop, many singers and bands have held some smaller concerts on its open-air terrace at 91st floor.
On December 6, 2014, the Japanese band AKT48, a sister band of the popular idol group AKB48 held a small concert on the round observatory square at 91st floor of the building, followed with their nationwide tour in Taiwan.
4. We can see there's a small tower rises beyond the outdoor observation deck, it contains the level 92 to 101.
The floors in the small tower is mostly for mechanical uses, with the exception of the top floor on level 101, there's a VIP club named summit 101 on level 101, it generally only open to celebrities, a bit similar to the 103rd floor on Empire State Building, which also only open to celebrities, the difference on this Summit 101 is that the ordinary people can also access there if they spent more than one million New Taiwanese dollars shopping in Taipei 101 Mall.
5. The design of Taipei 101 is heavily affected by Chinese culture, style, lucky number
The main portion of the building is composed of 8 same modules that flare outward, each module has 8 floors and stacked on the top of another lower module, the number 8 is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture, it represents prosperity and good fortune, and the unique form of the tower was inspired by the form of the pagodas in ancient China.
And number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture, as the pronunciation of this number is similar to the word death in Chinese, and for this reason there's no 44th floor in the tower, the lost floor is replaced by level 43, with the level 42A replacing actual level 43 to compensate for the skipped floor number.
6. Since Taipei 101 is built in an earthquake zone and also subject to typhoon winds, a tuned mass damper is suspended from 91st to 87th floor of the tower.
The tuned mass damper is simply a steel pendulum hung with several ropes, the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction of the sway of the building which caused by strong winds or earthquakes, by this way the sway of the building is reduced, making the building more resistant to such natural disasters.
Many other skyscrapers also feature tuned mass dampers, but the one on Taipei 101 is largest and heaviest, at 5.5m in diameter and weighs 660 ton(Now this honor had been taken by the damper on Shanghai Tower) .
7. Taipei 101 had been having the world's fastest elevators for 10 years, until in 2014 when the elevators in Shanghai Tower set a new record. There are 2 such high-speed elevators inside Taipei 101, each of them is double-deck and the ascending speed is 16.8m/s, the elevators can transport tourists from level 5 to the observatory on level 89 in just 37 seconds.
8. The firework of New Year's Eve Celebration is a continuing tradition of Taipei 101, every time when New Year comes, the building will be lit up with fireworks.
Before the firework launches, all the lights of the building are turned off, then each of 8 stacked modules of the building will be lit with the numbers of 8 to 1 from the bottom up, which counts down the last 8 seconds of the year, after the countdown is over the fireworks will be immediately displayed, whole show generally lasts about 3 to 4 minutes. There are only two skyscrapers in the world have this tradition, another one is Burj Khalifa.