Taipei 101

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Taipei 101
Chinese :臺北101
Taipei 101 Tower in August 2007
Alternative namesTaipei Financial Center
Record height
Tallest in the world from 2004 to 2010 [I]
Preceded by Petronas Towers
Surpassed by Burj Khalifa
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Architectural style Postmodern
Location Xinyi Special District, Xinyi District
Taipei, Taiwan
Coordinates 25°2′1″N121°33′54″E / 25.03361°N 121.56500°E / 25.03361; 121.56500 Coordinates: 25°2′1″N121°33′54″E / 25.03361°N 121.56500°E / 25.03361; 121.56500
Construction started1999 [1]
Completed2004 [1]
Opening31 December 2004 [2]
Cost NT$ 58 billion
(US$1.934 billion)
Owner Taipei Financial Center Corporation [2]
ManagementUrban Retail Properties
Architectural509.2 m (1,671 ft) [3]
Tip509.2 m (1,671 ft) [3]
Roof449.2 m (1,474 ft) [3]
Top floor439.2 m (1,441 ft) [3]
Observatory391.8 m (1,285 ft) [3]
Technical details
Floor count101
5 below ground/basements [2]
Floor area412,500 m2 (4,440,100 sq ft) [4]
Lifts/elevators61 Toshiba/KONE elevators, including double-deck shuttles and 2 high speed observatory elevators
Design and construction
Architect C.Y. Lee & Partners
Main contractor KTRT Joint Venture [5] [6]
[1] [3] [2] [7] [8]
Taipei 101
Chinese 臺北101
Literal meaning"Tai[wan] North 101"
Taipei World Financial Center
Traditional Chinese 臺北國際金融中心
Simplified Chinese 台北国际金融中心

Taipei 101, sometimes stylized TAIPEI 101 [1] , formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center – is a landmark supertall skyscraper in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building was officially classified as the world's tallest from its opening in 2004 until the 2010 completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Its elevators, capable of 60.6 km/h (37.7 mph) used to transport passengers from the 5th to 89th floor in 37 seconds, set new records. [9] In 2011 Taipei 101 received a Platinum rating under the LEED certification system to become the tallest and largest green building in the world. [10] [11] The structure regularly appears as an icon of Taipei in international media, and its fireworks displays are a regular feature of New Year's Eve broadcasts.

Skyscraper tall building

A skyscraper is a continuously habitable high-rise building that has over 40 floors and is taller than approximately 150 m (492 ft). Historically, the term first referred to buildings with 10 to 20 floors in the 1880s. The definition shifted with advancing construction technology during the 20th century. Skyscrapers may host commercial offices or residential space, or both. For buildings above a height of 300 m (984 ft), the term supertall skyscrapers can be used, while skyscrapers reaching beyond 600 m (1,969 ft) are classified as megatall Skyscraper.

Taipei Special municipality in Republic of China

Taipei, officially known as Taipei City, is the capital and a special municipality of Taiwan. Located in the northern part of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City that sits about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located in the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed. The basin is bounded by the relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.

Burj Khalifa Skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Burj Khalifa, known as the Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration in 2010, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft) and a roof height of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009.


Taipei 101's postmodernist architectural style evokes Asian traditions in a modern structure employing industrial materials. Its design incorporates a number of features that enable the structure to withstand the Pacific Rim's earthquakes and the region's tropical storms. The tower houses offices and restaurants as well as both indoor and outdoor observatories. The tower is adjoined by a multi-level shopping mall that claims the world's largest ruyi symbol as an exterior feature.

Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism, marking a departure from modernism. The term has been more generally applied to the historical era following modernity and the tendencies of this era.

Pacific Rim

The Pacific Rim comprises the lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Basin includes the Pacific Rim and the islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Rim roughly overlaps with the geologic Pacific Ring of Fire.

Observatory location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events

An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geophysical, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Historically, observatories were as simple as containing an astronomical sextant or Stonehenge.

Taipei 101 is owned by Taipei Financial Center Corporation. The skyscraper opened on 31 December 2004.

The Taipei Financial Center Corporation is a Taiwanese company notable for its ownership of Taipei 101.



Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground, as well as 5 basement levels. It was not only the first building in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height, [3] but also the world's tallest building from 31 March 2004 to 10 March 2010. [12] [13] As of 18 April 2019, it is still the world's largest and highest-use green building. [10] [11]

Upon its completion, Taipei 101 was the world's tallest inhabited building, at 509.2 m (1,671 ft) as measured to its height architectural top (spire), exceeding the Petronas Towers, which were previously the tallest inhabited skyscraper at 451.9 m (1,483 ft). The height to the top of the roof, at 449.2 m (1,474 ft), and highest occupied floor, at 439.2 m (1,441 ft), surpassed the previous records of 442 m (1,450 ft) and 412.4 m (1,353 ft), respectively; the Willis Tower had previously held that distinction. [3] [14] [15] [16] [17] It also surpassed the 85-story, 347.5 m (1,140 ft) Tuntex Sky Tower in Kaohsiung as the tallest building in Taiwan and the 51-story, 244.15 m (801 ft) Shin Kong Life Tower as the tallest building in Taipei. [18] [19] Taipei 101 claimed the official records for the world's tallest sundial and the world's largest New Year's Eve countdown clock. [20]

Spire tapering structure on top of a building

A spire is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building, often a skyscraper or a church tower, similar to a steep tented roof. Etymologically, the word is derived from the Old English word spir, meaning a sprout, shoot, or stalk of grass.

Petronas Towers Twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are twin skyscrapers. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

Willis Tower Skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois

The Willis Tower, built as and still commonly referred to as the Sears Tower, is a 110-story, 1,450-foot (442.1 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. At completion in 1973, it surpassed the World Trade Center in New York to become the tallest building in the world, a title it held for nearly 25 years; it remained the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere until the completion of a new building at the rebuilt World Trade Center site in 2014. Willis Tower is considered a seminal achievement for architect Fazlur Rahman Khan. It is currently the second-tallest building in the United States and the Western hemisphere – and the 16th-tallest in the world. More than one million people visit its observation deck each year, making it one of Chicago's most popular tourist destinations. The structure was renamed in 2009 by the Willis Group as a term of its lease.

Various sources, including the building's owners, give the height of Taipei 101 as 508 m (1,667 ft), roof height and top floor height as 448 m (1,470 ft) and 438 m (1,437 ft). This lower figure is derived by measuring from the top of a 1.2 m (4 ft) platform at the base. [1] [3] CTBUH standards, though, include the height of the platform in calculating the overall height, as it represents part of the man-made structure and is above the level of the surrounding pavement. [14] [16] [15] [17] Taipei 101 displaced the Petronas Towers as the tallest building in the world by 57.3 m (188 ft). [16] [21] The record it claimed for greatest height from ground to pinnacle was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in height. Taipei 101's records for roof height and highest occupied floor briefly passed to the Shanghai World Financial Center in 2008, which in turn yielded these records as well to the Burj. [14] [16]

Pinnacle architectural element

A pinnacle is an architectural ornament originally forming the cap or crown of a buttress or small turret, but afterwards used on parapets at the corners of towers and in many other situations. The pinnacle looks like a small spire. It was mainly used in Gothic architecture.

Shanghai World Financial Center skyscraper in Shanghai

The Shanghai World Financial Center is a supertall skyscraper located in the Pudong district of Shanghai. It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by the Mori Building Company, with Leslie E. Robertson Associates as its structural engineer and China State Construction Engineering Corp and Shanghai Construction (Group) General Co. as its main contractor. It is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. Park Hyatt Shanghai is the tower's hotel component, comprising 174 rooms and suites occupying the 79th to the 93rd floors, which at the time of completion was the highest hotel in the world. It is now the third-highest hotel in the world after the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, which occupies floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre.

Structural design

Taipei 101 Tuned Mass Damper 2010.jpg
Taipei 101 Tuned Mass Damper.png
Location of Taipei 101's largest tuned mass damper

Taipei 101 is designed to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors that are common in the area east of Taiwan. Evergreen Consulting Engineering, the structural engineer, designed Taipei 101 to withstand gale winds of 60 metres per second (197 ft/s), (216 km/h or 134 mph), as well as the strongest earthquakes in a 2,500-year cycle. [22]

Taipei 101 was designed to be flexible as well as structurally resistant, because while flexibility prevents structural damage, resistance ensures comfort for the occupants and for the protection of glass, curtain walls, and other features. [23] Most designs achieve the necessary strength by enlarging critical structural elements such as bracing. Because of the height of Taipei 101, combined with the surrounding area's geology—the building is located just 660 ft (200 m) away from a major fault line [24] —Taipei 101 used high-performance steel construction and 36 columns, including eight "mega-columns" packed with 10,000 psi (69 MPa) concrete. [25] Outrigger trusses, located at eight-floor intervals, connect the columns in the building's core to those on the exterior. [26]

These features, combined with the solidity of its foundation, made Taipei 101 one of the most stable buildings ever constructed.[ citation needed ] The foundation is reinforced by 380 piles driven 80 m (262 ft) into the ground, extending as far as 30 m (98 ft) into the bedrock. Each pile is 1.5 m (5 ft) in diameter and can bear a load of 1,000–1,320 tonne s (1,100–1,460 short ton s). [25] During construction, on 31 March 2002, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Taipei; two construction cranes from the 56th floor, the highest floor at the time, toppled. Five people died in the accident, but an inspection showed no structural damage to the building, and construction soon resumed. [26]

RWDI designed a 660-tonne (728-short-ton) [27] [28] [29] steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper, at a cost of NT$132 million (US$4 million). [30] Suspended from the 92nd to the 87th floor, the pendulum sways to offset movements in the building caused by strong gusts. Its sphere, the largest damper sphere in the world, consists of 41 circular steel plates of varying diameters, each 125 mm (4.92 in) thick, welded together to form a 5.5 m (18 ft) diameter sphere. Two additional tuned mass dampers, each weighing 6 tonnes (7 short tons), are installed at the tip of the spire which help prevent damage to the structure due to strong wind loads. [30] [31] On 8 August 2015, strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor swayed the main damper by 100 centimetres (39 in) – the largest movement ever recorded by the damper. [32]

The damper has become such a popular tourist attraction, the city contracted Sanrio to create a mascot: the Damper Baby. Four versions of the Damper Baby: "Rich Gold", "Cool Black", "Smart Silver" and "Lucky Red" were designed and made into figurines and souvenirs sold in various Taipei 101 gift shops. Damper Baby, with its cute all-ages appeal, has become a popular local icon, with its own comic book and website. [33] [34] [35]

Structural façade

Taipei 101 during a typhoon
View from the base of the tower, looking up
Ruyi figure over one of the building's entrances
Shadow of the tower in the late afternoon; the adjoining park (circular feature, bottom) acts as the face of a sundial.
Feng shui fountain outside Taipei 101

Taipei 101's characteristic blue-green glass curtain walls are double paned and glazed, offer heat and UV protection sufficient to block external heat by 50 percent, and can sustain impacts of 7 tonnes (8 short tons). [22] The façade system of glass and aluminum panels installed into an inclined moment-resisting lattices contributes to overall lateral rigidity by tying back to the mega-columns with one-story high trusses at every eighth floor. This façade system is therefore able to withstand up to 95 mm (4 in) of seismic lateral displacements without damage. [36]

The original corners of the façade were tested at RWDI in Ontario. A simulation of a 100-year storm at RWDI revealed a vortex that formed during a 3-second 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) wind at a height of 10 meters, or equivalent to the lateral tower sway rate causing large crosswind oscillations. A double chamfered step design was found to dramatically reduce this crosswind oscillation, resulting in the final design's "double stairstep" corner façade. [37] Architect C.Y. Lee also used extensive façade elements to represent the symbolic identity he pursued. These façade elements included the green tinted glass for the indigenous slender bamboo look, eight upper outwards inclined tiers of pagoda each with eight floors, a Ruyi and a money box symbol between the two façade sections among others. [38]

Taipei 101's own roof and façade recycled water system meets 20 to 30 percent of the building's water needs. In July 2011, Taipei 101 was certified "the world's tallest green building" under LEED standards. [39]


The height of 101 floors commemorates the renewal of time: the new century that arrived as the tower was built (100+1) and all the new years that follow (1 January = 1-01). It symbolises high ideals by going one better on 100, a traditional number of perfection. The number also evokes the binary numeral system used in digital technology. [25]

The main tower features a series of eight segments of eight floors each. In Chinese-speaking cultures the number eight is associated with abundance, prosperity and good fortune. [40] [41]

The repeated segments simultaneously recall the rhythms of an Asian pagoda (a tower linking earth and sky, also evoked in the Petronas Towers), a stalk of bamboo (an icon of learning and growth), and a stack of ancient Chinese ingots or money boxes (a symbol of abundance). Popular humor sometimes likens the building's shape to a stack of take-out boxes as used in Western-style Chinese food; of course, the stackable shape of such boxes is likewise derived from that of ancient money boxes. [42] The four discs mounted on each face of the building where the pedestal meets the tower represent coins. The emblem placed over entrances shows three gold coins of ancient design with central holes shaped to imply the Arabic numerals 1-0-1. [25] The structure incorporates many shapes of squares and circles to reach a balance between yin and yang.

Curled ruyi figures appear throughout the structure as a design motif. Though the shape of each ruyi at Taipei 101 is traditional, its rendering in industrial metal is plainly modern. The ruyi is a talisman of ancient origin associated in art with Heavenly clouds. It connotes healing, protection and fulfillment. It appears in celebrations of the attainment of new career heights. [43] [44] The sweeping curved roof of the adjoining mall culminates in a colossal ruyi that shades pedestrians. [44] Each ruyi ornament on the exterior of the Taipei 101 tower stands at least 8 m (26 ft) tall. [45]

At night the bright yellow gleam from its pinnacle casts Taipei 101 in the role of a candle or torch upholding the ideals of liberty and welcome. From 6:00 to 10:00 each evening [46] the tower's lights display one of seven colors in the spectrum. The colors coincide with the days of the week: [47]


The adjoining Taipei 101 on the east side connects the landmark further with the symbolism of time. The design of the circular park doubles as the face of a giant sundial. The tower itself casts the shadow to mark afternoon hours for the building's occupants. The park's design is echoed in a clock that stands at its entrance. The clock runs on energy drawn from the building's wind shear. [48]

Taipei 101, like many of its neighbours, shows the influence of feng shui philosophy. An example appears in the form of a large granite fountain at the intersection of Songlian Road and Xinyi Road near the tower's east entrance. [49] A ball at the fountain's top spins toward the tower. As a work of public art the fountain offers a contrast to the tower in texture even as its design echoes the tower's rhythms. The fountain also serves a practical function in feng shui philosophy. A T intersection near the entrance of a building represents a potential drain of positive energy, or ch'i , from a structure and its occupants. [50] [51] Placing flowing water at such spots is thought to help redirect the flow of ch'i. [52] [53]


Taipei 101 is the first record-setting skyscraper to be constructed in the 21st century. It exhibits a number of technologically advanced features as it provides a center for business and recreation. [3]

The original 2004 fiber-optic and satellite Internet connections permitted transfer speeds up to a gigabit per second. [23]

The double-deck elevators built by the Japanese Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation (TELC) set a new record in 2004 with the fastest ascending speeds in the world. At 60.6 kilometres (37.7 mi) per hour, 16.83 m (55.22 ft) per second, or 1010 m/min, [30] the speed of Taipei 101's elevators is 34.7 percent faster than the previous record holders of the Yokohama Landmark Tower elevator, Yokohama, Japan, which reaches speeds of 12.5 m (41 ft) per second (45.0 km/h, 28.0 mi/h). Taipei 101's elevators sweep visitors from the fifth floor to the 89th-floor observatory in only 37 seconds. [54] Each elevator features an aerodynamic body, full pressurization, state-of-the art emergency braking systems, and the world's first triple-stage anti-overshooting system. The cost for each elevator is NT$80 million (US$2.4 million). [55] [56] [57] [58]

A 660-tonne (728-short-ton) tuned mass damper (TMD), located between the 87th and 91st floors, [30] stabilizes the tower against movements caused by high winds. [37] The damper can reduce up to 40 percent of the tower's movements. [59] [60] The TMD is visible to all visitors on the 87th through 91st floors. [30]

Two restaurants have opened on the 85th floor: Diamond Tony's, which offers European-style seafood and steak, and Shin Yeh 101 (欣葉), which offers Taiwanese-style cuisine. Occupying all of the 86th floor is Taiwanese restaurant Ding Xian 101. [61] Din Tai Fung, several international dining establishments and retail outlets also operate in the adjoining mall. The multi-story retail mall adjoining the tower is home to hundreds of fashionable stores, restaurants, clubs and other attractions. The mall's interior is modern in design even as it makes use of traditional elements. The curled ruyi symbol is a recurring motif inside the mall. Many features of the interior also observe feng shui traditions. [53]

Floor directory

A tenant directory is posted in the first-floor lobby (from the Xinyi entrance).

The number 4 is considered an unlucky number in Chinese culture, [41] so what would have been the 44th floor has been replaced by Level 43, with 42A replacing the actual 43 to compensate for the skipped floor number.[ citation needed ]

As of 1 January 2011, the highest occupied office floor (excluding the observatory and restaurants) was 75. The building appears to be at least 70 percent occupied at this point.

There is a freight elevator that stops at every level from B5 to 91, with a button for every floor.[ citation needed ]

The 92nd through 100th floors are officially designated as communication floors, although it's unknown if there are any radio or TV stations currently broadcasting from the top of Taipei 101. The 91st-floor observatory is the highest floor that is open to the public, but unlike the leased/private floors from 7~90F, there is no sign of even a visible access point to the topmost floors on Level 91. The top 10 floors are to have stated on their website to contain a radio and television relay station, Emergency system receiving/signaling relay station, telecommunications stations, and an outdoor antenna frame on 96F, which offers power, fire protection, telecom systems, and security related systems, according to their website.[ citation needed ]

The 101st floor is home to a private VIP club named Summit 101, according to the observatory brochure. Before 2014, no information about this club was ever made public. [62] In 2014, photos of the exclusive club were shown on TV for the first time. A Taipei Financial Center Corporation spokesman said that only foreign dignitaries, Hollywood film actors, and high spenders in the Taipei 101 Mall (over NT $1 million in purchases) had been invited to the VIP club. [63]

Access to the 101st floor requires two elevator transfers on the 89th and 93rd floors, respectively. There is only one service elevator that facilitates access to the top nine floors (93–101). The 101st floor is divided into three levels: 101F (lower), 101MF (mezzanine) and 101RF (roof). The VIP club exists on the lower level, while 101RF, a mechanical floor, provides access to the 60-metre tall spire, which has 24 levels (numbered R1 through R24) that can only be accessed via ladder.[ citation needed ]

Taipei 101, fourth from left, compared with other tallest buildings in Asia. Tallest buildings in Asia.jpg
Taipei 101, fourth from left, compared with other tallest buildings in Asia.


Taipei 101 includes two high-speed observatory elevators manufactured by Toshiba. Their highest speed is 1,010 meters per minute (about 60.6 kilometers per hour). It only takes 37 seconds to travel from the 5th floor to the 89th floor of the skyscraper. In 2016, the title for the fastest elevator was given to the Shanghai Tower in Shanghai. [64] Shortly after, the title for the world's fastest lift was passed on yet again to the Guangzhou Finance Centre. [65]

101st floorSummit 101 (Private VIP Club) [66]
92nd – 100th floorCommunication
91st floorOutdoor Observatory Deck
88th – 89th floorIndoor Observatory Deck
85th – 86th floorObservatory Restaurant [2]
59th – 84th floorHigh Zone Office
59th – 60th floorSky lobbies
35th – 58th floorMid Zone Office
36th floorTaipei 101 Conference Center [2]
35th – 36th floorSky lobbies
35th floorAmenities [2]
9th – 34th floorLow Zone Office
B1 – 5th floorTaipei 101 Mall [2]
B5 – B2Parking Levels [2]

Observation Deck

Taipei 101 outdoor observatory MichaD 1.jpg
On the 91F outdoor observatory at 391.8 m (1,285 ft).
Taiwan 2009 Taipei 101 Shopping Mall Entrace At Night FRD 8585.jpg
Art work outside the mall at night.
Taipei 101's east park as seen from the Indoor Observatory at noon.

Taipei 101 features an Indoor Observation deck (88th and 89th floor) and an Outdoor Observation deck (91st floor). Both offer 360-degree views and attract visitors from around the world. The Indoor Observatory stands 383.4 m (1,258 ft) above ground, offering a comfortable environment, large windows with UV protection, recorded voice tours in eight languages, and informative displays and special exhibits. Here one may view the skyscraper's main damper, which is the world's largest and heaviest visible damper, and buy food, drinks and gift items. Two more flights of stairs take visitors up to the Outdoor Observatory. The Outdoor Observatory, at 391.8 m (1,285 ft) above ground, [3] [67] is the second-highest observation deck ever provided in a skyscraper and the highest such platform in Taiwan. [18] [68]

The Indoor Observatory is open thirteen hours a day (9:00 am–10:00 pm) throughout the week as well as on special occasions; the Outdoor Observatory is open during the same hours as weather permits. Tickets may be purchased on site in the shopping mall (5th floor) or in advance through the Observatory's website. [69] Tickets cost NT$600 (US$19.42, as of 20 October 2018) and allow access to the 88th through 91st floors via high-speed elevator. [70]


Many works of art appear in and around Taipei 101. These include: German artist Rebecca Horn's Dialogue between Yin and Yang in 2002 (steel, iron), American artist Robert Indiana's 1-0 in 2002 and Love in 2003 (aluminum), French artist Ariel Moscovici's Between Earth and Sky in 2002 (rose de la claret granite), Taiwanese artist Chung Pu's Global Circle In 2002 (black granite, white marble), British artist Jill Watson's City Composition in 2002 (Bronze), and Taiwanese artist Kang Mu Hsiang's Infinite Life in 2013 (aluminum). [25] Moreover, the Indoor Observatory hosts a regular series of exhibitions. The artists represented have included Wu Ching (gold sculpture), Ping-huang Chang (traditional painting) and Po-lin Chi (aerial photography). [71]



Xu 2003 005 Taipei 101.jpg
Forbys Taipei 101.jpg
Taipei 101 near the end of construction during 2003, showing the concrete tower at the top still incomplete. The height of the building was still 449.2 meters at the time.

Planning for Taipei 101 began in July 1997 [2] during Chen Shui-bian's term as Taipei mayor. Talks between merchants and city government officials initially centered on a proposal for a 66-story tower to serve as an anchor for new development in Taipei's 101 business district. Planners were considering taking the new structure to a more ambitious height only after an expat suggested it, along with many of the other features used in the design of the building. It wasn't until the summer of 2001 that the city granted a license for the construction of a 101-story tower on the site. In the meantime, construction proceeded and the first tower column was erected in the summer of 2000. [2] [60]

A major earthquake took place in Taiwan during 31 March 2002 destroying a construction crane at the rooftop, which was at floor number 47. The crane fell down onto the Xinyi Road beneath the tower, crushing several vehicles and causing five deaths – two crane operators and three workers who were not properly harnessed. However, an inspection showed no structural damage to the building, and construction work was able to restart within a week. [26]

Taipei 101's roof was completed three years later on 1 July 2003. Ma Ying-jeou, in his first term as Taipei mayor, fastened a golden bolt to signify the achievement. [3] The formal opening of the tower took place on New Year's Eve 2004. President Chen Shui-bian, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng cut the ribbon. Open-air concerts featured a number of popular performers, including singers A-Mei and Stefanie Sun. Visitors rode the elevators to the Observatory for the first time. A few hours later the first fireworks show at Taipei 101 heralded the arrival of a new year. [72] [20] [73] [74]


Important dates in the planning and construction of Taipei 101 include the following: [25]

20 October 1997Development and operation rights agreement signed with Taipei City government.
13 January 1999Ground-breaking ceremony.
7 June 2000First tower column erected.
13 April 2001Design change to 509.2 m height approved by Taipei City government.
13 June 2001Taipei 101 Mall topped out.
10 August 2001Construction license awarded for 101 stories.
31 March 2002Partially constructed building survives 6.8 magnitude earthquake undamaged.
13 May 2003Taipei 101 Mall obtains occupancy permit.
1 July 2003Taipei 101 Tower roof completed.
17 October 2003Pinnacle placed.
14 November 2003Taipei 101 Mall opens. [2]
15 April 2004 Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) certifies Taipei 101 as world's tallest building.
12 November 2004Tower obtains occupancy permit.
31 December 2004Tower opens to the public. [2]
1 January 2005First New Year fireworks show begins at midnight.


E=mc lighting on 19 April 2005. Taipei 101-e=mc2.jpg
E=mc lighting on 19 April 2005.

Taipei 101 is the site of many special events. Art exhibits, as noted above, regularly take place in the Observatory. A few noteworthy dates since the tower's opening include these.

On 28 February 2005, Former President of the United States Bill Clinton visited and signed copies of his autobiography. [75] On 19 April 2005, the tower displayed the formula "E=mc2" in lights to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein's theory of relativity. The display, the largest of 65,000 such displays in 47 countries, was part of the international celebration Physics Enlightens the World. [71] On 20 October 2006, the tower displayed a pink ribbon in lights to promote breast cancer awareness. The ten-day campaign was sponsored by Taipei 101's ownership and Estée Lauder. [71]

On 25 December 2004, French rock and urban climber Alain Robert made an authorized climb to the top of the pinnacle in four hours. [76] On 12 December 2007, Austrian base jumper Felix Baumgartner survived an unauthorized parachute jump from the 91st floor. [77] On 20 November 2005, the First annual Taipei 101 Run Up featured a race up the 2,046 steps from floors 1 to 91. Proceeds were to benefit Taiwan's Olympic teams. The men's race was won by Paul Crake of Australia (10 minutes, 29 seconds), and the women's race by Andrea Mayr of Austria (12 minutes, 38 seconds). [71] On 15 June 2008, Taipei 101 Run Up featured 2,500 participants. The men's race was won by Thomas Dold of Germany (10 minutes, 53 seconds); 2007 champion Marco De Gasperi of Italy finished second and Chen Fu-tsai of Taiwan finished third. The women's race was won by Lee Hsiao-yu of Taiwan (14 minutes, 53 seconds). [78] [79] On 6 December 2014, Japanese idol group HKT48 held a small concert on the 91st floor observatory as the premiere of their tour in Taiwan. [80] [81]

New Year's Eve fireworks displays

Taipei 101 2008 NewYear Firework.jpg
2008TaipeiCityNewYearCountdownParty Firework Taipei101 LoveTaiwan.jpg
New Year fireworks at Taipei 101, then show the "2008 TAIWAN" symbol Image.

The New Year's Eve show in Taipei is hosted at the Taipei City Hall, which also provides a view of Taipei 101 which is lit up with fireworks. Another popular location for crowds to gather to see the fireworks display is the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. For the first three years (2004–2006), the annual fireworks show at Taipei 101 was preceded by the sequential display of numerals in lights on each section to count down the last eight seconds to midnight. Since 2007 the building has been completely darkened, then fireworks begin to launch sequentially from the lower to upper sections.


The Taipei Financial Center Corporation (TFCC) announced plans on 2 November 2009 to make Taipei 101 "the world's tallest green building" by summer of 2011 as measured by LEED standards. The structure is already designed to be energy-efficient, with double-pane windows blocking external heat by 50 percent and recycled water meeting 20–30 percent of the building's needs. LEED certification would entail inspections and upgrades in wiring, water and lighting equipment at a cost of NT$60 million (US$1.8 million). Estimates show the savings resulting from the modifications would pay for the cost of making them within three years. [82] The project was carried out under the guidance of an international team composed of Siemens Building Technologies, architect and interior designer Steven Leach Group and the LEED advisory firm EcoTech International. [83] The company applied for a platinum-degree certification with LEED in early 2011. [84] On 28 July 2011, Taipei 101 received LEED platinum certification under "Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance". It displaced the Bank of America Tower in Manhattan as the world's tallest and highest-use green building in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency building in Florida as the world's largest green building. Although the project cost NT$60 million (US$2.08 million), it is expected to save 14.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, or an 18 percent energy-saving, equivalent to NT$36 million (US$1.2 million) in energy costs each year. [10] [85] In 2012, the shopping center at the base is expected to be remodeled. [86]

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85 Sky Tower architectural structure

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See also

Preceded by
Petronas Towers
451.9 m (1,483 ft)
World's tallest building
509.2 m (1,671 ft)

Succeeded by
Burj Khalifa
828 m (2,717 ft)
Preceded by
Willis Tower
442 m (1,450 ft) & 412.4 m (1,353 ft)
World's highest roof & highest occupied floor
449.2 m (1,474 ft) & 439.2 m (1,441 ft)

Succeeded by
Shanghai World Financial Center
492 m (1,614 ft) & 474 m (1,555 ft)
Preceded by
Yokohama Landmark Tower
12.5 m/s (41 ft/s) (45 km/h, 28 mi/h)
World's fastest elevator
16.83 m/s (55.22 ft/s) (60.6 km/h, 37.7 mi/h)

Succeeded by
Shanghai Tower
20.5 m/s (67.26 ft/s) (73.8 km/h, 45.9 mi/h)
Preceded by
Tuntex Sky Tower
347.5 m (1,140 ft)
Tallest building in Taiwan
509.2 m (1,671 ft)

Preceded by
Bank of America Tower
World's tallest & highest-use green building
(LEED platinum rating)

Preceded by
Environmental Protection Agency building
(Florida, U.S.)
World's largest green building
(LEED platinum rating)

Preceded by
World's largest & heaviest wind damper
diameter 5.5 m (18 ft) & 660-tonne (728-short-ton)