Rich with symbolism and tradition, Taipei's iconic landmark is a standing monument to feng shui and modern design.Even the neighborhood and pieces of art in the park surrounding Taipei 101 are meant to support the tower's feng shui and to prevent positive energy from escaping. From the shape of entrances to curving surfaces and incorporated colors, the landmark is designed to symbolize prosperity and good fortune.
To some, the Taipei 101 tower looks like a stack of Western-style Chinese food take-out boxes, however, the tower is meant to represent a stalk of bamboo reaching into the sky to connect heaven and earth.
The 101 floors represent adding one to the number 100, which is considered perfect and auspicious in Chinese culture. The eight sections of the tower are a shout out to the auspicious number '8' which represents abundance and good fortune.
Because '4' is considered an unlucky number in Chinese culture, having a 44th floor was purposely avoided by creating a floor 42A to bump the 43rd floor into that position.
The Taipei 101 tower had to be constructed with more than just beauty and symbolism in mind; Taiwan is regularly subjected to powerful typhoons and regional earthquakes. According to the designers, the tower can withstand winds of up to 134 miles per hour and the strongest earthquakes on modern record.
To survive potentially destructive forces of nature,Taipei 101 incorporates a steel pendulum -- the largest in the world -- suspended through the core of the building between the 92nd and 87th floors of the structure. The suspended sphere weighs 1.76 million pounds and sways freely to offset movement of the building around it. Visitors can see the pendulum in action from a restaurant and the observation decks.
The anti-sway system passed a real-life test during Taiwan's 6.8-magnitude earthquake in 2002.