The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur | Twin Skyscrapers in Malaysia

petronas towers

General Information

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers are two identical buildings built in postmodern style in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It was the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004 according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world.

Total Number of floors: 88 Floors
Total Height: 1,483 ft (452 meters)
Costs about 1.6 billion USD
The project was completed in six years.

Design and Architects

The Petronas Towers were designed by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli & Associates.

Emery Vincent designed the building’s architectural graphics and way-finding maps.

The design team was led by Gary Emery and included Alvin Chan, Gini Lee, Linda Popovic and Marius Vogl.

The structure of the Petronas Towers is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan.

Steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion.

Pelli used the Rub el Hizb, an important symbol found in many Islamic cultures, as a way to generate the plan of the building. The Rub el Hizb is characterised by two overlapping squares, one rotated 45 degrees, with a circle inscribed in the centre.

Find the detailed information about the architecture of Petronas Towers below.


Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and excavation started on 1 March 1993.

500 truckloads of earth were excavated every night to dig down 30 meters below the ground.

Construction of the Petronas Towers began on 1 April 1994.

Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996.

Spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996.

The first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997.

The building was officially inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999.

A batch of concrete failed a conventional strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt had cost loss of US$700,000 per day. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch of concrete and it was demolished. To overcome the problem total of 3 concrete plants were set up to continue the supply of concrete in case, any plant produced the bad batch of concrete.

Tower 2 became the first to reach the world’s tallest building at the time. When the structure of tower 2 reached the 72nd floor, it ran into problems. Engineers discovered that the tower was shifted 25 millimetres (0.98 in) off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres (0.79 in) with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building’s completion.

The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction.

Wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada.

The structural design engineers were from the New York City.

Construction Consortiums

Tower 1 was constructed by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp)

Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Ekovest Berhad, with Tan Sri Datuk Lim Kang Hoo.

The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted front consisting of 83,500 square metres (899,000 sq ft) of stainless steel extrusions.

Laminated glass of 55,000 square metres (590,000 sq ft) of thickness 2.38 cm was used to overcome heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

Suria KLCC

Opened in 1998, Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia and has over 400 stores.

Constructed at the feet of the Petronas Towers, Suria KLCC is an upmarket retail centre occupying the area of 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft).

It features mostly imported luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a science centre.

KLCC Park: Spanning 17 acres (6.9 ha) below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with the incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children’s playground.


Each tower’s pinnacle is 73.5 metres (241 ft) tall. Constructed and assembled outside the country, taking over 19 weeks.

One pinnacle was constructed in Japan and the other pinnacle in Korea.

Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tonnes.

Pinnacles may seem to be an important aesthetic feature they also play function to aircraft warning lights and longer looking skyscraper.

Company Under Petronas

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies.

Tower Two is for lease purpose, and serves the offices of renowned companies like Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

Sky Bridge of Petronas Towers

It is the highest double-decker sky bridge in the world connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors.

The bridge is 170 m (558 ft) above the ground and 58 m (190 ft) long, weighing 750 tonnes.

Serving its purpose sky bridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

It is not attached to the main structure but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking during high winds.

Skybridge also provides some structural support to the towers and can also act as a safety device in case of fire.

There is a two-hinged arch that supports the sky bridge with arch legs, each 51 metres (167 ft) long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers.

After being constructed on the ground, the sky bridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days.

Best view of Petronas Towers

On Level 86 is Petronas Twin Towers’ observation deck, where visitors can get a close-up view of the tower’s spire as well as digital displays and exhibit of the tower’s history.

Visit Twin Towers

To visit Petronas towers, visitors must first buy the tickets. Tickets can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above.

The sky bridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day and must be obtained on a first come, first served basis.

Hotels near Twin Tower Kuala Lumpur

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Architecture of Petronas Towers

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