Aug 8, 2007

Taiwan’s Taipei 101 Tower

You are looking at the world’s tallest occupied building, Taiwan’s Taipei 101 Tower. It was the world’s tallest building until last month when it was surpassed by the Burj Dubai or Dubai Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which is still under construction. At the moment the Burj Dubai is about 13 feet taller than Taipei 101, which scrapes the sky at 1,667 feet. Developers are playing their cards close to the vest by not divulging the final height when it is completed next year. They have told news outlets it will be higher than 2,275 feet.

Burj Dubai already has competition in its own back yard. Al Burj, a skyscraper proposed by developers that will reach up to 3,937 feet, is expected to start construction in Dubai later this year, according to reports.

Taipei 101, which held the crown since 2004, was built to withstand typhoons and earthquakes which are common on the island nation. Genius engineering not withstanding, I wouldn’t want to be on the 90th floor of Taipei 101 during a tremor. The 17th floor of the hotel I stayed at was enough when a small quake hit for a few seconds one night. I heard a rumbling noise, the curtains began to sway and fortunately before there was time to get alarmed it was over.

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