Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Taipei 101: Shopping Center, Offices, and a 728-Ton Sculpture

Taipei 101 as seen from Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, August 24, 2009, by AngMoKio, via Wikipedia, used w/o permissionTaipei 101's official website (English version - www.taipei-101.com.tw/index_en.htm) May take a while to load. But once it's in your browser, you should see a cute little 3D animated critter with text balloons saying things like "Hi~~" and "Let's Green On!" They've got information for visitors, folks interested in leasing space in Taipei 101, and some 'about' pages.

"Conception"
Taipei 101 official website, English-language version

"The greatest challenge in designing a statement building is not the construction technology involved, but how the building reflects the culture in which it functions. The spirit of architecture lies in the balance between local culture and internationalism.

"In the West, a tall building demands respect and attention from the spectators. To the Asians, it symbolizes a broader understanding and anticipation of things to come: we 'climb' in order to 'see further'..."

Well. That's nice. Let's see what else the page says about the tower.

"... TAIPEI 101 Tower rises in 8 canted sections, a design based on the Chinese lucky number '8'. It is a homonym for prosperity in Chinese, and the 8 sections of the structure are designed to create rhythm in symmetry, introducing a new style for skyscrapers...."

Taipei shopping mall, by Sengkang, December 2006, via Wikipedia, used w/o permissionTaipei 101's Awards page lists some of the tower's records. World's:
  • Highest, ground to structural top
    508 meters
  • Ground to highest occupied floor
    101 floors, 428 meters
  • Ground to roof
    448 meters
That was in 2005, when Taipei 101 opened. Then the Burj Khalifa opened: all 160 floors, 828-plus meters of it. Granted, the top 200 meters of the Burj Khalifa is a spire.

The Burj Khalifa's World's Tallest Towers page has an interactive graphic that shows side-by-side comparisons with quite a few skyscrapers. Taipei 101 is still a pretty tall building, though.

Taipei's landmark skyscraper's architects used a 728 ton tuned mass damper to keep the tower from swaying too much. Instead of making it a strictly utilitarian hunk of stuff, they designed the mass damper as a sort of sculpture. And the Lemming posted about that before:The Taipei 101 shopping mall is billed as:The shopping center's floor guide is a series of interactive graphics: attractive, easy to use, and apparently quite useful for visitors. It also has an example of why translations can be tricky. These are instructions for using the guide, in English:

"Please transfer to the mouse on the picture, then knows the most detailed shop owner and the facility information."

The Lemming had no trouble understanding that. But it's not what a native speaker of English would have said.

The floor guide shows a 7-Eleven on the B1/Grand Market level, by the way. Those things are everywhere, it seems.

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