Monday, October 26, 2009

Buildings Breaking Boundries: Taipei 101

Taipei 101 also known as the Taipei Financial Center is located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. It was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed primarily by KTRT Joint Venture and Samsung Engineering & Construction. Taipei 101 was the world's first skyscraper to break the half-kilometer high mark and until recently, it was the world’s tallest building having since been surpassed by the Burj Dubai.

As its name suggests, Taipei 101 comprises of a 101 floors above street level. There is an additional 5 below the surface and with the aid of technology; the structure also serves as giant billboard displaying symbolism of Asian tradition. Its postmodern style allows for a modern feel to traditional features and encompasses both Asian and international style elements.

The tower was built to withstand both typhoons and earthquakes and is an icon of modern Taiwan. Fireworks displays launched from Taipei 101 features prominently in international New Year's Eve broadcasts and the structure with its multi-level shopping mall, is often seen in travel literature and international media.

The design accomplished both strength and flexibility through effective use of high-performance steel construction. Thirty-six columns including eight "mega-columns" packed with 10,000-psi concrete support the structure.

At eight floor intervals, outrigger trusses connect the columns in the building's core to those on the exterior. It is a combination of these features with the solidity of its foundation that makes Taipei 101, one of the most stable buildings ever constructed.

Ernest Roper

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