June 20, 2011
Taipei 101 rises to a height of 508 meters and was the world’s tallest building until the opening of the tallest in Dubai. We travel up almost 90 floors to see the view from the top. The tower, inspirationally designed by the internationally acclaimed architect C.Y. Lee, was started in 1998. 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, resembling a bamboo stalk, which is a symbol of strength, durability, and ceaseless growth in Chinese traditional culture. There’s a shopping area on the lower floors of the building that features bookshops to restaurants.
We board the high speed elevator on the fifth floor to get to the observation deck on the 89th floor. The elevators are pressurized and travel at 1010 meters per minute, which set a Guiness Book World Record in 2004. It takes only 37 seconds to reach the 89th floor.
On the 89th floor we can see whole city of Taipei from the indoor observation deck. There’s also a multimedia presentation that talks about the history of this enormous building.
From the 89th indoor observation floor, you have to walk down stairs and go through a fun house of sorts that combines multimedia computer projections with clever lights to guide you on the way to the 88th floor. On the 88th floor, we find the world’s largest and heaviest wind damper. This large metal ball weighs 660 metric tons and prevents the building from swaying too much in strong winds. The 101 mascot is here waiting for your next photo shot.
We’re lucky today as the outdoor observatory is open on the 91st floor. This outside observation platform offers a completely different viewing experience from the 89th floor indoor one. Here we are able to see from close up the spire at the highest point of the 508 meter tall building.
Our visit to 101 is at an end and we take the high speed elevator back down to the mall level. Outside there are a number of interesting sculptures to pose next to and we take the opportunity to snap a few memorable photos of our experience at 101.