Monday, October 7, 2013

#769 Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

File:Petronas Panorama II.jpg
I think it was when I saw the movie Entrapment with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones that I had my first glimpse of what was then (1998-2004) the tallest building in the world, and I was impressed not only for the 'twins' being tall, but also with how beautiful they were, an experience that is matched with Dubai's Burj Khalifa (#909).

Planned from 1992, designed by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli in a post modern style, digging began in 1993 with a 30m depth into the ground and actual construction began in 1994. They are easily viewed from the nearby communications tower (Kuala Lumpur Tower), and they are the pride of the city of Kuala Lumpur (#899).
Interesting facts:
  • The first location (on the old race track) was found to actually be the edge of a soft rock cliff next to decayed limestone so the location was shifted 60 meters sideways to be entirely on the rock.They have the world's deepest foundations in order to secure the building.
  • It broke the records for the largest concrete pour (until 2007), and highest BASE Jump in 1999
  • The cross bar and much of the outside is Islamic in its design origins, supposed to be based on the Rub al Hizb symbol of overlapping squares.
  • Each tower was built by a different construction group (in order to meet the Malaysian timeline demands) the west Tower 1 was built by the Japanese Hazama Corporation consortium while the eastern Tower 2, was built by the South Korean Samsung consortium.
  • They had to destroy one whole floor during construction because of weak concrete tests and had three concrete plants working during the construction.
  • Tower 2 was found to be leaning 25cm off vertical so the next 16 floors were constructed 20cm in the other direction
  • Below the towers are a mall and a symphony orchestra hall
  • Structural design engineers worked from New York and wind-tunnel and elevator consultants worked from Canada
  • The sky bridge is not actually connected to the towers but is designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it breaking as they towers sway
  • There was a bomb hoax here which triggered complete evacuation on Sept 12, 2001 (the day after the 9/11 attacks in the USA)
  • The lifts are designed to be used during evacuation and they have been modified so that passengers can move from one lift to another through a side panel if needed
  • French Alain 'Spiderman' Robert has climbed the tower on several occasions only to be quickly arrested by Malaysian authorities


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