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21st Century Architecture and Design Elements

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Architecture
Wordcount: 1978 words Published: 1st May 2018

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The architectural design of the 21th century buildings has been redefined due to the advancement of our modern technology. In our modern society, the architectural design of buildings is changing the downtown landscape of metropolitan areas. Due to the change of technologies, it has changed the architectural design of buildings dramatically in terms of its function, design structures, heating and cooling systems and it social status in society. The basic function of the architecture is to provide a roof over peoples’ head. For instance the Taipei 101 in Taiwan, Taipei 101 has became the world’s tallest skyscraper in 2004.The Taipei 101 is located in the Hsinyi District of the city, the rapid-growing “Manhattan” of Taipei. This is the future center of financial power in Taiwan, and already home to a dynamic collection of retail and entertainment centers. The Taipei Municipal Government awarded development rights by tender for this Build-Operate-Transfer project, the first ever in Taiwan, to an unprecedented consortium of investors. The mission is to develop a state-of-the-art building that forms an integral part of the infrastructure for advancing Taipei towards becoming one of the Asia Pacific Financial Centers. This project symbolizes the outstanding achievements of Taiwan’s economic development. In many aspects, the new building is the most technologically advanced skyscraper constructed to date. The building feature fiber-optic and satellite Internet connections allowing speeds up to 1 gigabyte per second. It has the world’s fastest elevators which run at a top speed of 1008 meters per minute.

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Architectural Intention

The architecture intention of Taipei 101 has been derived from early period in history. Associated with combination of style and culture from Greek, Egyptian, Gothic period, and most importantly the Roman architecture. The Greek column structures were used to build its structures, the gothic point arch, and pointed rib vaulted construction were used to build up its structure. There are many aspects about the gothic architecture that reflected in the making of Taipei 101, such as the architects would build high ceilings which would make the building look absolutely massive. Taipei 101 is no longer viewed as simple shelter to provide roof over peoples head. The architectural plan is designed with a more environmental conscious issue. The interior environment is designed according to the space of the structures. For instance, the interior are divided into segments such as malls, observatories, restaurants, and business offices.

Form and Façade

The form of Taipei 101 is inspired by traditional Chinese architecture, with a shape resembling a pagoda. If look closely, the sectioned tower is also inspired by the bamboo plant, which is a model of resilience, elegance, and strength. The tower’s design specifications are based on the lucky number eight. Number eight is consider to be a lucky number, it features eight upward flaring sections, and all supported by eight super columns. Most aspects of the design, layout and planning were reviewed and approved by a Feng Shui master. The façade material of the building is glass with curtain wall system.


Taipei 101 incorporates many features of symbolic significance. One of the representation, that Taipei 101 symbolized the axis mundi, which is a symbol representing the center of the world where the heaven or sky connects to the earth or more like Taipei 101 is the bridge from earth to heaven. The height 101 floors symbolized the renewal of time and Chinese saying being one more than one hundred, a traditional number of perfection. The main tower is divided into eight segments of floors. In Chinese the number eight symbolized lucky number or good fortune. The ruyi figures appear to be their motifs. The ruyi symbolized heavenly cloud; it implies defenders, fulfillment, and rejuvenation.

Interior Spaces and Design

In many aspects, Taipei 101 is the most advanced skyscraper ever constructed to date. The building features the fastest double-deckers elevators and the whole building is wired throughout with broadband access to the Internet and microwave and satellite transmission equipment. These modern systems are used to ensure uninterrupted communications with the outside world. The glass of the windows are sealed airspace, which coated to reflect sun rays keeping the occupants comfortable while still allowing them to see outside view from the window. There are total 34 double-deckers elevators that can carry 62 people at a time. They put that many and huge elevator to ensure that no one will have to wait more than 30 seconds for an elevator. The building has two floors of health and fitness centers, three floors of restaurants and observatory floors on levels89, 91, 101. The retail stores of the mall are world-class, reflecting Taipei’s new global image within a traditional shopping marketplace. The basement has parking spaces for 1839 cars and 2990 scooters and motorcycles.

Construction Technology

We are now said to be entering the age of the super skyscraper, with tall buildings poised to take a giant new leap into the sky. Tall buildings must stand on firm ground, or else the risk of having earthquake is really high. Soil analysis is especially critical in facing the threat of earthquakes. The next obstacle in erecting a super skyscraper, and perhaps the biggest one, is wind. Tall buildings actually sway in the breeze, in much the same way that a diving board bends under the weight of a diver. Building an edifice that doesn’t topple over in the wind is easy enough. The real challenge is keeping the structure so stiff that it doesn’t swing too far, cracking partitions, shattering windows and making the upper occupants seasick. Taipei 101 is designed to hold out against earthquakes and typhoon winds which are the most occurrence cataclysms in Asia pacific. The building will not move an inch even if the earthquake reaches 7 degrees on a Richter scale and the wind power never known to man. To insure and prevent such cataclysms to destroy the building, the first 25 floors are reinforced by adding another four exterior walls and all eight segments were restructured, every one of them having the same exterior leaning angle of 90 degrees with the same dimension. This illusion creates the never ending column. Another support for stability of the building structure is the interior spiral stair and steel pillars filled with concrete to make the stiffness of the structure. Engineers also developed a new architectural concept called the mega column which derived from the Greek column structure. The mega column is the most durable structure, having two centers. The first one is made out of numerous steel columns filled with concrete, linked by the second segment the other columns is the neo-gothic girders which connect all column in a center resembling pyramid. Taipei 101 has a giant mass damper to keep building in balance. The damper will reduce the tower’s peak vibrations by more than one third. The main purpose is to ensure that the steel ball stays in control and does not swing wildly. To prevent damage during earthquakes, dampers have a locking device that will be automatically triggered. The locking device will prevent damper from moving independently. The damper is visible from the restaurant and bar which encircles space around the ball. The overall structure is reinforced by a moment frame system linking all the columns on all floors.

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My Thoughts and Arguments

Taipei 101 has a very distinctive design and look about it that makes it very striking. The design link to various significant shapes, numbers and other aspect of the culture. It looks like a massive bamboo and is just dazzlingly lit at night. Taipei 101 is a symbol of modern Taiwan. The construction of the building itself is marvel. It also has LCD windows to put some advertisement on top of the building. Some use to make love letter to their loves one and some use to make a big advertisement. On Valentine’s day most couple post their names and their loves one on these LCDs. Since Taiwan is a little island, it is very intellectual idea to build a tall building for an entertainment center and tourism. Its location is very convenient to any other attractions center. On the 91st floor is the outdoor observation area. The views at the outdoor observation area is not as open due to walls are built about slightly higher than a human height for protection purposes. There are binoculars to view the outside landscape and it is best place to take panoramic picture. The outdoor observatory, allows visitor to see the spire of the building. The idea of the spire building is derived from the gothic period. The most amazing thing is the steel pendulum, which serves as a mass damper, which suspends from the 92nd floor to the 88th floor. The movement of the damper will offset movement in the building caused by earthquake and strong wind, the damper reduce the overall movement of the building. The food court was an incredible, with a wide varieties of cuisines represented…many types of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese quick eats as well as weird fusion items (Chinese + cheese = Italian, natch). Everything looked so appetizing compared to the usual American mall food court, with the help of food models attractively displayed at each of the almost 100 stands. Overall Taipei 101 is one of the greatest entertainment center, business, and even shelter in the whole world with its modern constructive architecture look. It is safe to say that the influence of the classical style has had profound on the way we live today. Many aspects of life have evolved over time and have been fine tune to fit our preferences, which today we are able, the modern structure of our new building.


In the 21st century, both interior design and architectural design have reached a stage where there are few limitations, and styles cannot necessarily be neatly defined or categorized. Traditional rules are broken, and opportunities for originality and imagination are maximal. However, great respect for the classical styles and artistic achievements of the past not only remain, but also continually flourish. Revivals of many styles in architecture and interior design are, like revivals of styles in music, dance, fashion, and other aspects of our culture, making appearances as popular fads.


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