Almost all major cities around the world have some architectural landmarks that make them standout and glamourous. Whether it’s the Empire State Building or Eiffel Tower, people look up to it for inspiration or simply list it as one of their lifelong dreams to stand at the top of these architectural wonders. As the capital of Taiwan, it only makes sense for you to have one such landmark that draws countless visitors each year and acts as the shining beacon of hope for this island.
Sitting at the heart of Xinyi district, the financial and social hub of Taipei City, Taipei 101 is hard to ignore for first-time visitors. Its 10-segment structure, the pointy lightning rod at the top and the unique greenish glass facade are just some of the few features that make it so catchy. As the tallest building in a country that considers typhoon and earthquake part of its routine, it is designed to withstand the constant threat of typhoon wind and earthquake tremors. Apart from that, Taipei 101 even topped the list of world skyscrapers for a brief period, making it one of the few things that Taiwanese could brag about to foreign visitors.
Of course, it isn’t just built to help bring the world’s attention to this small island nation. To me, Taipei 101 has helped to inspire and encourage countless people in Taipei over the years. Whenever I look to it from any corner of Taipei, it always reignites my love for this city and reminds me of the reasons why Taipei can offer what other global metropolitans have, a beacon of hope. It also gives young people like me a reason to dream bigger. Silly as it sounds, my admiration for this architectural magnificence was a love at first sight. I still vividly remember the day when I stood stiffly at the foot of Taipei 101, and the first thought that went through my mind was that I hoped to work here one day.
12 years after its completion, Taipei 101 continues to watch over Taipei, and it has even become the sanctuary for those who are oppressed. Not sure since when, a group of Falun Gon practitioners began to put on peaceful demonstrations outside Taipei 101. Even when Taipei 101 has become one of the must-visit sites for Chinese tourists, these pious Falun Gon followers never shy away. They layout posters accusing the Chinese government for oppressing them and meditate determinedly under all kinds of weather conditions.
So if you ever ask me why I choose to stick around, Taipei 101 will certainly be one of the many reasons why I have not grown tired of this city. It has inspired so many of us and will continue to act like the lighthouse for those who are confused for years to come.