Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is the name of the tallest building in Taipei: it had been the tallest building in the world until the Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai. Like most really tall buildings, there is an observation deck at the top.

We timed our visit to Taipei 101 to involve tooling around the shopping mall on the first five or so floors, heading up to the top for sunset, and then returning to the lower stories for dinner at the super awesome food court. Which, if you read what Liang had to share, is representative of the way more awesome Asian food courts.

In a taxi, on the highway, Taipei 101 -bound.

Courtyard below.

Taipei. Please excuse the glare from the window glass.

Taipei 101 has been engineered to withstand both earthquakes and typhoons - Taiwan's regular natural disasters. Part of this engineering is a tuned mass damper: a 660 metric ton steel sphere suspended at the top of the building to help off-set motion caused by gusts of wind. The tuned mass damper in Taipei 101 is open to the public's view. It is painted a cheery yellow. And in the grand tradition of cute, the damper has been personified into a little sphere-headed-bodies cutesy cartoon named 'the Damper Baby'. I have a photo of Liang next to the Damper Baby: I forced her to pose. But as Michael has been laughing at all my photos of her, I will refrain from posting it.

Hydraulic pistons.

Theoretically Taipei 101 is shaped like a bamboo stalk. And covered with all sorts of symbolism about the cardinal directions, and land meeting sky, and sun dials, and the number eight, and pagodas. But really, it's just as awesomely tall building with a rockin' food court and a shopping mall full of things too expensive for me to afford.

Art was exhibited in the observation gallery. To exit, they made you walk through a whole floor of jade. Liang and Lena and I were all surly to the poor jade-shillers: we were hungry and wanted the elevator to be a bit closer!

Once the sun set, we headed out to the observation deck, outside.

Lena and Liang.


Michael said...

No! Please post the photo! I promise I won't laugh ;)

DPLK said...

I think we got our 400 NT worth in pictures from Taipei 101! Oh man, remember that picture that Lena took of us on the preview screen after they forced us to pose for the green screen tourist photo? That was hilarious.

Michael was seriously bummed at being told there was such a picture of me posing next to damper baby but not being able to see it. Ha. It is okay, it is actually funny to watch him laugh.

Lena said...

don't forget the displays of legal coral for sale. i'd say we were justified in being surly to salespeople. who makes you walk around the ENTIRE floor for the stupid elevator down?? and don't believe michael - he'll laugh. as will I as soon as you post that photo haha

Jessica said...

Taipei 101 was awesome. For the photographs and the view, and the food court, AND that fab photo they took of us at the beginning!

Liang, I may post you and the damper baby yet!

Mum said...

Naming Damper Baby, it becomes more appealing especially to those of us who are not engineering types. I am dizzy just looking at the pictures that you took looking down from the observation deck.