Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur @11 AM and @11 PM, A Photo-essay

My joy knew no bounds when I could see Petronas Towers from my hotel room window – The Renaissance, I was overwhelmed by their presence. It was my childhood dream to visit Petronas Towers and it had come true on the morning of November 13 when I landed KL. They are so sprawling, so formidable, indeed a masterpiece of architecture colouring the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. I captured it in various moments right from 11 AM in the morning to 11 PM in the night.

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My camera was in the right form and surprisingly cooperated even around mid-night. Shorty that I am, I was skeptical that will I be able to do justice in shooting the splendid towers, but yes…see it to believe it.

11 AM shots:

Malaysian Skyline from 88th floor of Petronas Towers

  11 PM shots of Petronas Towers:

The Twin Towers, built to house the headquarters of Petronas, the national petroleum company of Malaysia, were designed by the Argentine-born American architect Cesar Pelli; they were completed in 1998. The plan for each tower is identical: an eight-lobed circular structure that contains 88 stories of occupiable space and a pyramid-shaped pinnacle surmounted by a slender steel spire. Both rise to a height of 1,483 feet (451.9 metres), which includes 242 feet (73.6 metres) for pinnacle and spire. Each building is supported by 16 large columns around its perimeter, which, along with the rest of the frame, are made of high-strength, steel-reinforced concrete rather than of structural steel; the exterior sheathing consists of stainless steel and glass. A skybridge two stories tall links the two towers between the 41st and 42nd stories.

Designers chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed, beginning on 1 March 1993 with the excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres (98 ft) below the surface.

In 1996, after the spires had been attached to the buildings (and each had thus reached its full height), the Petronas Twin Towers were declared the world’s tallest buildings, eclipsing the former record holder, the 110-story Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago. The roof of the Sears Tower was actually more than 200 feet (60 metres) higher than those of the Twin Towers, but the spires on the towers’ pinnacles were regarded as integral parts of the overall architectural structure. The Twin Towers, in turn, lost their preeminent status in 2003 after a spire was put in place atop the Taipei 101 (Taipei Financial Center) building, in Taipei, Taiwan, and that structure reached a height of 1,667 feet (508 metres).

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. 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.

Indeed it turned out to be an awesome experience!

Special thanks to Malaysia Tourism for offering me this opportunity.

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