Posted by: David Stewart | November 19, 2008

Three Buildings in Taipei

Pacific Core Living Mall - Taipei, Taiwan

Some towns have all the fun.

We all know of cities with an odd building here or there. When I moved to Portland in 1984, Michael Graves’ Portland Building was still the talk of the architectural town. But most of Portland’s buildings are not that adventurous at all, just variations on the same egg crate theme.


Take this one in Seoul. Looks like a big abstract clock face, but most of Seoul’s buildings are pretty conventional too.

There is literally no competition to Shanghai and Beijing for preponderance of wild, creative and downright ugly buildings. But Taiwan has a few interesting ones.

TAIPEI 101 and Hyatt hotel

May as well start at the top. TAIPEI 101 (on the left) is currently the tallest building in the world at 101 floors. I’m not all that good with high places, but the trip to the top was probably worth it, and at around $12 has a price competitive with going to the top of the Shanghai Pearl TV tower.

Taiwan IDF, 2008

Besides the impressive views, the top of the building also has this ginormous damper ball. It’s basically a stack of metal disks which have been forged together, hoisted to the top of the building, and braced by hydraulic dampers. When the wind blows in Taipei, the building must bend. But the damper baby (as it’s called) softens the sway, so you don’t get seasick.
The damper ball is oddly reminiscent of another adventurous building in Eastern Taipei, the Core Pacific Living Mall.

Pacific Core Living Mall - Taipei, Taiwan

Yes, that’s even more of a ginormous ball – all 12 stories of it. And inside the big ball, you can take an escalator up through the thing, like some alien hive you are entering.

Pacific Core Living Mall - Taipei, Taiwan

Just be calm sir, we will eat your brain in a moment. Yup, this gave me worse height willies than TAIPEI 101.

Pacific Core Living Mall - Taipei, Taiwan

The final mention goes to my hotel, the Grand Hyatt, in the shadow of the world’s tallest building (for now).

Grand Hyatt hotel, Taipei

What was funny about this place was that you couldn’t get away from the water features – they were everywhere, outside in front, in the lobby, cascading down the stairways. Sheesh.

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan

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