Thursday, 26 June 2008

Now this is what I call control


It's not the world's most attractive building, but Taipei 101 is one of the tallest.  And when you're that tall, you need something extra to help you out when the earth moves -- in this case it's a huge brass ball in the belfry that sways back and forth to damp down the shaking caused by earthquakes: the largest 'tuned mass damper' in the world.

Watch it in action during the recent Sichuan earthquake.  It's as astonishing as the reaction of the people in the tower  as it hit.

1 comment:

  1. If I'm not mistaken, the gleaming Citicorp tower in Manhattan was the first to use this principle. In that case, the damper is a large block on rollers, computer controlled to move in the direction opposite any wind-induced sway.

    A thing of engineering beauty that, sadly, is never even seen.


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