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Taipei 101--Standing Tall on the Global Architectural Stage

1.Looking at the Taipei 101 exterior, you see a series of bamboo-like nodes rising to the sky. The strong bamboo stalk is a traditional symbol of durability and fecundity.If you’ve come to Taipei for some fun, you ain’t done with this city shopping-wise until you’ve whipped out the credit cards at Taipei 101. This, it is easy to see why, is an iconic Taipei landmark, the symbol of this city as the Empire State Building is for New York, the Eiffel Tower for Paris, and the Shanghai World Financial Center for Shanghai. This is also the most representative and proudly proclaimed symbol of this city as we step out onto the world stage. You can see why folks say that if you’ve visited Taipei 101, you’ve visited Taipei City.

The tower, inspirationally designed by the internationally acclaimed architect C.Y. Lee, began its constructions in 1998. Pay close attention and you’ll see that the number 8 figures prominently as a design motif, for 8 is pronunced “ba” and sounds like “fa”, as in “to send out/ create wealth,” meaning continuous good luck and prosperity. The tower’s structure is divided into 8 sections from the 27th through 90th levels—64 floors clearly divided into segments each 8 floors. Each segment slants outward at a 7-degree angle as it moves upward, the cumulative exterior visual effect being resemblance to a bamboo stalk, a symbol of strength, durability, and ceaseless growth, in Chinese traditional culture.

This is the first skyscraper in history to incorporate the nodal concept . This approach also ingeniously serves to suppress the natural proclivity of tall buildings to create strong downward-spiralling winds that whip toward the ground. Greenery-planted partition areas also ensure the safety and comfort of pedestrians. Non-reflective, high - tran sparency , energy - saving, high-heat-insulation curtain glass makes it possible for people inside to comfortably look out over the Taipei skyline.

2.The viewing platform on the 89th floor is the world’s highest, and offers spectacular omnidirectional views. 3.On the 4th floor, the ceiling is 40 meters high, creating a spacious, European feel with natural landscaping.High-tech materials and innovative illumination create a sense of visual space and depth, with the manmade and natural surrounding environments seamlessly fused. All of this adds up to a redefinition of the art of crafting international-class skyscrapers. Here is a rundown of the internal facilities. Levels B5 through B2 are for parking, with a capacity for 1,800 vehicles. B1 through level 4 is a world of trendy, upscale shopping and dining, with the lovely French Garden capping off the relaxed atmosphere on level 4, an open European-style garden space with scenic natural landscaping spanning 40 meters. The fifth level is a financial center. Floors 9 through 84 are taken up by offices, and the 35th and 59th floors are locations for elevator exchange lobbies. On level 85, you can choose from two upscale theme restaurants, both of which offer stunning views. Level 89 is the location of a veritable window to the future, with the world’s highest observation deck; buy your take for just NT$400 on the fifth floor and zoom up on the fastest—Guinness-approved—pressurecontrolled elevators in the world. They move at a lightning-fast 1,010 meters per minute, though you won’t feel a thing, and your ears won’t pop.

4.The mall is a grand gathering spot for trendy brand names from around the globe. 5.On the 88th floor, you can get up close and personal with the heart of Taipei 101, the world’s largest tuned mass damper.

Taipei 101 Observatory
Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
Add: 89F, No. 7, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd.
Tel: (02) 8101-8898
Website: www.taipei-101.com.tw
Taipei 101 Mall
Hours: 11:00 - 22:00
Add: No. 7, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd.
Tel: (02) 8101-8898
Website: http://www.taipei-101.com.tw/index_en.htm
In just 37 seconds, you will be at the 382-meter-high observatory on the 89th floor. Beyond the tremendous views in all directions, you can also look towards the tower center at the tremendously heavy tuned mass damper, another world-best at 660 metric tons. Other treats include super-powerful telescopes, a canteen, free audio guides in 7 languages (Mandarin, Taiwanese, English, German, Japanese, Korean, and Cantonese), plus spiffy souvenir-sales service. Visitors can also make their way along the “sound and light” corridor on level 88 to the tuned mass damper area, have a closer look at the heart of 101, and make their way to an outdoor observation deck for some wind-in-your-hair spectacular views of this grand city.

Since 2004, the tower has been site for the massive New Year’s fireworks celebration, an event that has quickly become a right of passage for citizens. As the fireworks escalate up the tower during the final countdown, so do the cheers from Civic Plaza nearby Taipei City Hall below, with the bombs bursting in air and another New Year arriving with a roar.