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An Asian Tower Taipei 101

The Taipei 101
Walls of Taipei 101
Taipei 101’s tuned mass damper keeps the tower stable.

For the exterior design, the architects combined Asian culture with modern international architecture. The tower is divided into eight sections stacked one above the other. In Chinese culture, the number eight is a sign of prosperity. The eight sections each bow outward slightly at the top. The architects felt that this design called to mind a pagoda. This is a kind of traditional tower found throughout Asia. The design also resembles a bamboo stalk.
In Asia, bamboo is a symbol of strength. Builders covered the exterior with a glass curtain wall. The green glass provides protection from UV (ultraviolet) sunlight. It also helps keep the building cool. Green is the color of jade, a stone used in Asian art and jewelry. To finish the curtain wall, four silver design elements were added to each section. The silver shapes are called RUYI. In Chinese culture, ruyi are meant to look like heavenly clouds. They stand for contentment and protection.

 

When construction was done, builders added what many consider the building’s most amazing feature. They hung an enormous gold-colored steel ball from steel cables between the eighty-seventh and ninety-first floors. The steel ball is called a tuned mass damper (TMD).
Taipei 101’s TMD is 18 feet (5.5 m) in diameter. It weighs 730 tons (660 metric tons). The TMD is designed to reduce building sway by up to 40 percent. When the building sways in high winds, the TMD swings in the opposite direction. This helps to balance the building’s movement. It is the world’s largest and heaviest TMD.

Australian runner Paul Crake as a winner in the race at Taipei 101
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