Friday, November 13, 2015

The Story of... The Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world and can be found in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They are meant to capture and depict the country’s culture, ambitions, aspirations, and advancement on the world stage. Named after Malaysia’s national oil company, Petronas, one of the towers is fully occupied by the company as their office space while the other acts as office space for a number of smaller companies. Together, the Petronas Towers also act as one of Malaysia’s main tourist destinations.

Designed by C├ęsar Pelli, the start of the project planning began in January 1992. Just over a year later, construction began and work on the foundation commenced. Construction took about seven years, and finally on August 31, 1999 the building officially opened. The new amazing set of towers reach 88-storeys up into the city’s skyline, and between both towers and the skybridge (which is the world’s highest 2-storey bridge) they subtly form the outline of an “M” for Malaysia.

Fun Fact: Before it was cleared for the construction of the Petronas Towers, there was a race track on the site.

The design of the towers is meant to call attention to local art and handicrafts as well as innovation and technological advancement. It’s a perfect blend of the two. On the exterior of the building you’ll find a tapering design which is made of 33,000 stainless steel panels and 55,000 glass panels that combine to form Islamic patterns. The interior focuses on local handicrafts and weaving patterns, with wall panels inspired by hardwood carvings from the East Coast of Malaysia. They are deemed “smart” towers because of the advanced system that’s in place to maintain telecommunications, power supply, lighting, fire, and smoke control, and security in the building. Throughout each tower there are also 29 double decker high-speed elevators and 10 escalators, which make travelling through the buildings much, much easier.

The Petronas Towers was the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004, until TaiPei 101 beat them out in 2004. Even though other skyscrapers have surpassed its height over the last decade, the towers still hold great meaning for the country and are an internationally recognized icon. We’d love to see this work of art in real life!