Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is the third tallest building in the world, generally known as the Taipei World Financial Center, located in Taipei, Taiwan. Taipei 101 was designed by C.Y. Lee & partners and constructed in 1999 by KTRT Joint Venture. Taipei 101 is 508 m high, roof is 448 m high and top floor 438 m high, and weigh up to 705,130 tonnes. The structure was architecturally produced as a symbolic representation of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition.

The building was the world’s tallest building from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. Taipei 101 has 101 floors above terrain and 5 floors subterranean. The tower is designed to hold up against typhoons and earthquakes. A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of trendy stores, restaurants and clubs. The building is used for business meetings (it has office, conference), social needs (restaurant, library, retail store, fitness center) and tourist attraction (observatory).


Taipei 101 is designed to hold up against the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors frequent in this specific area of the Asia-Pacific. Planners wanted a structure that could hold up against powerful winds of 60 m/s and the strongest earthquakes most likely to occur in a 2,500 year period.

Skyscrapers must be flexible in strong winds but also needs to remain firm enough to reduce large sideways motion. Flexibility prevents structural damage while resistance assures protection of glass, curtain walls and other. Thirty-six columns support Taipei 101, including eight “mega-columns” loaded with 10,000 psi concrete. Every eight floors, outrigger trusses connect the columns in the building’s core with the exterior.


Taipei 101 has blue-green glass curtain walls which are double paned and glazed, and they offer heat and UV protection enough to block outer heath by 50 percent, and can sustain impacts of 7 tonnes. The facade system of glass and aluminum panels contributes to lateral rigidity by binding back to the mega-columns with one-story high trusses and at every eighth floor. This facade system is able to withstand up to 95mm of seismic lateral displacements without having damage.

Taipei 101′s unique roof and façade recycled water system fulfills 20–30 percent of the building’s water needs. These features culminated in Taipei 101 winning the award of “the world’s tallest green building” by LEED standards in July 2011.


The double-deck elevators created by the Japanese Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation (TELC) set a new record in 2004 with top ascending speeds of 60.6 km/h. Taipei 101′s elevators carry visitors from the fifth floor to the 89th-floor observatory in only 37 seconds. Each elevator features an aerodynamic body, emergency braking systems, and the world’s first triple-stage anti-overshooting system. The cost for each elevator is US$2.4 million.

They have observatories in the 91st and 89th floors. Two restaurants have opened on the 85th floor: Diamond Tony’s, which provides European-style seafood and steak, and Shin Yeh 101, which offers Taiwanese-style cuisine. All the 86th floor is Taiwanese restaurant Ding Xian 101. It has 61 elevators and 50 escalators through all building.

Fire safety

Through all Taipiei101 there are smoke detectors which are taking air samples and discovering unusual smoke. When smoke is detected, air conditioning are immediately switched off. The building is separated into several fire zones.

Automatic sprinkler system all through building, basement and mechanical floor are equipped with water tanks. That water tanks is driven by gravity, so if there aren’t any energy, water supplies will still be running. Every floor has to have fire hydrants and fire extinguishers, but on parking lot, there is foam fire extinguisher.

In case of fire, there are pressurized corridors on two sides of each floor and pressurized staircases that provide emergency evacuation paths. On every eight floors there are two fireproof refuge rooms which are connected with outdoor refuge balcony. Main escape routes are protected by smoke exhaust system and there are fireman’s lifts connecting basement and the top floor.

Grand opening

Formally opening of the building was on New Years Eve 2004, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng cut the ribbon. Visitors where allowed to the observation decks, concerts where held, and on midnight the tower celebrated with a magnificent firework show.


– October 1997. rights agreement signed with Taipei City government

– June 2000. first tower column erected

– June 2001. Taipei 101 Mall topped out

– March 2002. building survives 6.8 magnitude earthquake undamaged

– July 2003. Taipei 101 Tower roof completed

– November 2003. Taipei 101 Mall opens

– April 2004. Taipei 101 as world’s tallest building

– November 2004. Tower obtains occupancy permit

– December 2004. Tower opens to the public

World records

– highest structure: 508 metres

– ground to roof: 449.2 m

– highest occupied floor: 438 m

– fastest ascending elevator speed – 1010 meters per minute, which is 60.6 km/h

– largest countdown clock – displayed on New Year’s Eve

– tallest sundial

– first building in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height

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