Today was the first day I spent completely over at Taipei 101, although it was the less-glamorous side of pyro work that had us climbing through the bowels of the building and running cable down several dozen stories to/from our 58th floor staging area. From that level, every 8 floors up and down is another evacuation area, and these evacuation areas open out onto the terraces surrounding the building from which our prop work is staged. So every 8 floors from 34 to 91 need to have 4-5 data cables run down or up the staircase (what we started doing yesterday) to the 58th floor command center. Going from 91 to 58 and 58 to 34 of course required the most people since we were spaced every 5 floors to help guide the wire down so it wouldn’t swing too much (there is a weight attached to it) and then to tie it off to keep the load on the wire light.
Unfortunately things went slower than we would have liked thanks to logistics with the building management still not being fully worked out. Several of the floors we were supposed to have access to from the elevators were closed and locked, which meant we had to walk up/down several flights to get where we needed to go. For example Chris and I were on 42 and tried to exit to the elevators and found the door locked, so we hiked it down the stairs to 34 only to find that door, which had been open before, was now closed and thus locked (that was actually the fault of someone on our team). So then we had to climb all the way back up to 58 in order to finally access the elevators. And then it can take up to 5-10 minutes for 1 of the 3 elevators to arrive. All this when we were supposed to be eating lunch! But we still got time after finally making it down to the food court to eat.
Another interesting fact is that these evacuation rooms are designed to be accessed by the stairwells. To get to them from the elevators, we actually have to clamber through some duct rooms, most with extremely low clearances and a few that has you crawling on all fours. I can only imagine what the Big Show people had to go through to get all the scaffolding equipment through these. I finally stood up a little too soon and smacked my forehead on a duct today – there are pads on them but I managed to completely miss them. Luckily it was a wide, flat edge that didn’t gash me open (again) so it just gave me a dull ache for a few minutes. I guess I could have been wearing my hard hat, but I wasn’t in and around the duct rooms often.
So after a day of running wire we still have two floors (42 and 50) to run wire to tomorrow and then we begin to work on the dragon cable, which will wrap up around the building and produce the effect of a dragon spiraling up the building and then shooting flame off the spire (can’t wait to help rig that part!). We also tested the props we hung last week and found all systems still functional, which is a good sign after being exposed to the elements up there. I also got to spend a few minutes during downtime walking around the outside of the building when the evacuation room doors happened to be unlocked. It was another beautiful day out in the upper 60′s with partly cloudy skies.
Needless to say, my legs are pretty worn out from stair climbing/descending all day, and I have work to catch up on so no night-time adventures this day.