Damper Baby — Who?

Taipei 101 08
Moving on from a failed attempt to hike Elephant Mountain 象山 xiang shan, we walked our way to Taipei 101 and did something touristy instead. The little round mascot in a striped outfit was printed all over the 400 NT adult ticket to the top of the highest tower in Taiwan台灣 – apparently it has a name; and a purpose. “Specially designed passive damper that reduces wind movement in high-rises. [It] cuts building vibration by 40%, and can on occasion move by as much as 35 cm. Moving with the building at the rate of one oscillation every 7 seconds…” Sounds like a big task for a baby, but that’s what Damper Baby does day in and day out in Taipei 101’s 87th to 91st floors – not to mention its special appearances, together with its buddies, throughout the tower.

Lucky Red 紅金寶 hong jin bao welcomed us at the 89th floor observation deck and enticed us to grab some souvenirs as we listened to the audio guide. We then climbed the stairs to the 91st floor onto the outdoor observatory which is only open when weather conditions permit. Given that it was a windy autumn’s eve, Lucky Red sure brought us enough luck. We enjoyed the strong cool winds and embraced the raw beauty of Taiwan’s night scene from above. As I was about to count to 3 and click the shutter, the guard on the deck blew his whistle – just in time to stop my friends from posing for a perfect jump shot. Laughing our way down, the other Damper Babies – Rich Gold 金有錢 jin you qian, Cool Black 黑巧客 hei qiao ke and Smart Silver 銀絲卷 yin si juan were waiting around the 660-ton wind damper. Massive. Impressive. It’s the tuned mass damper that kept Taipei 101 stable from my friends’ jumping around.

Photostream: Taipei 101

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