I took this whilst on holiday in Kuala Lumpar
from my hotel room window on the 30th floor
they are spectacular !!
The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas.6 Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world.7
The Petronas’s height compared to some other well-known tall structures
Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower’s tallest antenna is 247.4 ft taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance to CTBUH regulations and guidelines,8 the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features.9 The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m.
Designed by Argentine architects César Pelli and Djay Cerico under the consultancy of Julius Gold and Filipino engineer Domingo Basa, the Petronas Towers were completed in 1998 after a seven year build and became the tallest buildings in the world on the date of completion.10 They were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur’s race track.11 Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world’s deepest foundations.12 The 120-meter foundations were built within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete.13 Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista.
The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion.14 Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.15 Tower 1 was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation while Tower 2 was built by Samsung C&T and Kukdong Engineering & Construction, both South Korean contractors. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Thus, Tower 2 became the first to reach the world’s tallest building at the time.16
Due to a lack of steel and the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete.17 High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation than a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores18 and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space.19 Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other buildings have used spires to increase their height but have always been taller overall to the pinnacle when trying to claim the title. In the aftermath of the controversy, the rules governing official titles were partially overhauled, and a number of buildings re-classified structural antenna as architectural details to boost their height rating even though nothing was actually done to the building.
One of the two towers with the maxis tower at night
A skybridge connects the two towers
An inside view of the skybridge
View to the northwest from the Petronas Towers skybridge
One of the Petronas Towers spires
Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies.20 A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, Accenture, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modeling company) and Reuters.
Main article: Suria KLCC
Suria KLCC is a 1,500,000 sq ft (139,000 m2) upmarket retail podium at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theater, an underwater aquarium and also a Science centre.