The Taipei 101 building, formally the Taipei World Financial Centre, is a landmark skyscraper in the Xinyi District, Taiwan.
Built in 2004 and costing a staggering $US1.9 billion, it was once the tallest tower in the world until the opening of Dubai's Burj Khalifa in 2010.
Designed by Chinese architect C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture and Samsung C&T, the tower served as an icon of modern Taiwan, incorporating both modern and traditional elements. One of the most forward thinking technologies incorporated into the structure was its design to withstand typhoons and earthquakes.
At 1,667 feet and comprising 101 floors, it was crucial to develop a structural system that would help the building withstand the typhoon winds and tremors common within its Asia-Pacific location. The goal was for it to withstand winds of up to 134mph and the strongest earthquakes likely to occur in a 2,500 year cycle.
Popular Mechanics reports, Taipei 101 uses a
"tuned mass damper", which is essentially a giant weighted ball at the tower's top that sits on hydraulic cylinders that serves to counteract the building's movements. In Taipei 101 the 'damper' is suspended between the 87th and 92nd floors, being 18 feet in diameter and weighing 728 tons.
Last week saw Taipei 101's damper move further than it has ever moved in its history, swaying a full metre from its centre position. The movement was caused by the giant Typhoon Soudelor that hit Taiwan last week, with winds hitting 100 to 145mph.
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