Craft & Design

Phuaalvin happened to be visiting the Taipei 101 on May 12, when the Great Sichuan Earthquake occurred. It must have been terrifying to see that damper moving like that; according to Wikipedia, the damper weighs 660 metric tons, and is suspended from the 92nd to the 88th floor. A tuned mass damper is designed to sway and offset movement in the building.

6 thoughts on “Taipei 101 damper movement during earthquake

  1. If you think the movement of the damper is scary, just imagine the swaying of the building if it didn’t have the damper! That would be way, way more scary.

    The device did its job perfectly. Those hoopy Chinese froods really know where their towel’s at!

  2. I think it’s great that they designed the building so the damper is visible and stylish. Too many things are left ugly and hidden away.

  3. I would have found it incredibly reassuring, not terrifying seeing this mass move
    without hitting its limits, performing exactly as it was designed to do.

    I have experienced a large earthquake (1964 Alaska earthquake when I was ~11
    years old), and terrifying is seeing things move as you know they are NOT
    designed to do.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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