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The tallest tower in the world will be inaugurated in Taipei, hit by earthquakes and typhoons

Architecture / The financial center will rise to a height of 508 meters, will occupy 101 floors and the fastest elevator in the world

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Taipei, Taiwan. In the coming months, four world records will be broken in the capital of Taiwan: the tallest building, the highest roof, the highest inhabited floor and the fastest elevator. The records belong to the new financial center of Taipei - a 101-story tower with a height of 508 meters (including antenna) - which at the beginning of this month, after four years, was completed. The shopping center will open on November 4th and even before that the other 72 floors (where there are offices, restaurants and clubs) will be opened, which will make it possible to measure the duration of the elevator ride - which should reach from the first floor to the 89th floor in 39 seconds.

The "Taipei" 101 tower is about to snatch the title of "tallest building in the world" from the "Patrons" towers in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Until these twin towers were erected, the record was held by the "Sears" tower in Chicago, built in 1974. The tower in the US is 10 meters lower than the towers in Kuala Lumpur, but still boasts the highest inhabited floor.

The new tower will break this record, but will only hold it for a short time: in 2004, the title will pass to the World Financial Center in Shanghai - whose construction will be completed the same year and which will rise to a height of 492 meters without an antenna. According to Lin Hong-ming, director of the TFC company that built the tower: "We are not worried, because firstly we did not want to win the title - the building was simply the tallest in the world - and secondly, records are meant to be broken."

The president of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bin, who participated in the ceremony of laying the last beam this month, has a special connection to "Taipei." 101 The initiative to establish the center began when he served as mayor and he approved the design of the skyscraper, the cost of which was estimated at 1.8 billion dollars. The building's construction sparked a public debate due to its proximity to the airport and the fear that it would be a target for terrorist attacks, but mainly due to two natural threats that characterize Taiwan: earthquakes and typhoons.

Taiwan is located in the seismological region of the Pacific Ocean (which includes the Aleutian Islands, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and New Zealand), where approximately 68% of the world's earthquakes occur. Moderate tremors hit Taiwan daily, mostly on the east coast. The strongest earthquake that happened in recent years, with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale, hit Nantou Province, in central Taiwan in September 1999. It caused the death of 2,400 people.

Another fear is that a typhoon will topple "Taipei."101 About a dozen storms occur around Taiwan every year, two to six of which hit the country or pass through it. However, according to the architectural firm that designed the tower, steps were taken to ensure that the building would withstand strong typhoons and earthquakes measuring 7 on the Richter scale.

Indeed, the Taiwan Seismological Observatory said the tower's anti-vibration design meets its requirements. "They drilled holes in the ground that are 80 meters deep, and this means that the building firmly holds the rock layer and does not sit on the soft soil of the Taipa basin," said the director of the center, Kuo-Kai Wen. "On June 10, when an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter scale hit Taiwan, the intensity of the damage to 'Taipei' 101 was lower than that recorded in the building of the Seismological Observation Center, which is only six stories high."

However, the criticism of the tower is not only about its adaptation to the geographical characteristics in Taiwan. In the weekly "The Journalist" published in the country, it is written: "'Taipei' 101 symbolizes the emptiness and insecurity of the people of Taiwan."

One of the astrologers in Taiwan, Yu Hsuah-hong, also joined the criticism. According to him, the tower goes against the principles of "feng shui" (a Chinese law that examines the energy in the human living environment) according to which Taipei is built. "It is too tall and completely unsuitable for the environment. He will bring bad luck not only to his surroundings, but also to the companies that will live there," he said.

Environmentalist - Earth

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