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Last Updated: Friday, 17 October, 2003, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Taiwan tops out tallest building
Taipei 101
Taipei 101 might not hold the record for long

The world's tallest skyscraper was completed in Taiwan on Friday when workmen fitted the pinnacle on to the 508-metre-tall (1,676 ft) Taipei 101 building.

The 91-storey structure, in the business district of the capital Taipei, is scheduled to open formally next year.

The office building is more than 50 metres (165 ft) taller than the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - formerly the world's highest skyscraper.

But Taipei 101 is not expected to hold the tallest building title for long.

In China, developers say the Shanghai World Financial Centre will be even higher when it is completed in 2007.

At a ceremony with the tower's engineers, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou said: "We completed the most difficult challenge that almost appeared to be impossible to complete. We need to congratulate all of us."

Earthquake prone

During construction, the building which will combine offices, shops and recreation areas, rose at the rate of one floor every six days.

It will have the world's fastest elevators, and it will have a stairway that leads to the top spire.

Some people have expressed concern that the building will be dangerous in earthquake-prone Taiwan.

Last year, five people were killed when two cranes fell from the building during an earthquake.

But the skyscraper's developers have pointed out that the building is not on a fault line and, in any case, could withstand a massive quake.

The foundations extend 80 metres below the ground.

There were also concerns that much of the tower would be left empty because of an over supply of office space in Taipei.


SEE ALSO:
Skyscrapers 'sinking' Shanghai
13 Sep 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Building concern over Taipei tower
06 Jan 03  |  Business
Aftershocks hit Taiwan
01 Apr 02  |  Asia-Pacific


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