Taipei 101, sometimes stylized TAIPEI 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center – is a landmark supertall skyscraper in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan.
Planning for Taipei 101 began in July 1997 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.
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). 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).
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.
These features, combined with the solidity of its foundation, made Taipei 101 one of the most stable buildings ever constructed. 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 tonnes (1,100–1,460 short tons). 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.
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. 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.
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, 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. 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).
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, but also the world's tallest building from 31 March 2004 to 10 March 2010. As of 18 April 2019 , it is still the world's largest and highest-use green building.
On 25 December 2004, French rock and urban climber Alain Robert made an authorized climb to the top of the pinnacle in four hours. On 12 December 2007, Austrian base jumper Felix Baumgartner survived an unauthorized parachute jump from the 91st floor. 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). 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). 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.
On 28 February 2005, Former President of the United States Bill Clinton visited and signed copies of his autobiography. On 19 April 2005, the tower displayed the formula "E=mc " 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. 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.
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. 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. Taipei 101 displaced the Petronas Towers as the tallest building in the world by 57.3 m (188 ft). 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.
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. 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. The company applied for a platinum-degree certification with LEED in early 2011. 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. In 2012, the shopping center at the base is expected to be remodeled.
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.
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.
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. 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.
RWDI designed a 660-tonne (728-short-ton) steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper, at a cost of NT$132 million (US$4 million). 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. 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.
Taipei 101 New Year fireworks in 2016, with Taipei Nan Shan Plaza on the side, nearing completion.
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. Shortly after, the title for the world's fastest lift was passed on yet again to the Guangzhou Finance Centre.
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. 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.