The Petronas Towers transformed Malaysia into a celebrated global symbol of the 21st Century

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Rising from the site of a former racetrack, the Petronas Towers established Kuala Lumpur as the cultural and commercial capital of a nation poised for the future. Since opening in 1997, the Petronas Towers have proven a vibrant engine for economic development, a beating heart for Malaysian culture, and a testament to engineering innovation and timeless architecture. The iconic twin skyscrapers have captured the world’s popular imagination, appearing in numerous films and works of art over the years. They continue to be an international tourist destination, attracting visitors from across the globe.

300,000 tons
weight of each tower

The towers’ floorplate design uses the geometric form of an eight-pointed star that represents the principles of unity, harmony, stability, and rationality.  

The design team creates a model of the Petronas Towers on the roof of the firm’s New Haven office.  

“As an internationally recognized landmark, the Petronas Twin Towers symbolize the courage, ingenuity, initiative, and determination, energy, confidence, optimism, advancement and zest of a nation.” — Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia

The Petronas Towers are the world’s tallest twin towers. 

The skybridge is structured by angled steel brackets that accentuate towers’ verticality. 

The world’s highest skybridge creates a striking image of a gateway 

From the forty-first and forty-second floor, a dramatic two-story skybridge stretches across the sky, linking the towers with a conference center, prayer room, and shared elevator lobby. 

At the base of the towers, a public park is a popular destination with jogging and walking paths, a fountain and wading pools, and a playground. 

The Petronas Towers held the record for world’s tallest building from 1996 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers today. 

The 900-seat Petronas Philharmonic Hall joins the twin towers at the ground level, offering a welcoming sense of openness and invitation to the public. 

This state-of-the-art symphony hall is home to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and hosts visiting orchestras from around the world. 

The Petronas Towers are twin towers reaching the sky at 88 floors in height and use an 8-pointed star pattern that is fequent in Islamic design.

More About the Project

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: KLCC Projects SDN. Bhd. Organization
  • Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
  • MEP: KTA Group, Flack + Kurtz

Project Information

  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Client: SKJ Joint-Venture and KLCC Property Holdings Berhad
  • Size: 10,700,000 sq. ft. / 994,000 sq. m.
  • Height: 1,483 ft. / 452 m.
  • Completion: 1997
  • Firm Role: Design Architect

Awards

  • 1997, Certificate of Engineering Excellence, New York Association of Consulting Engineers
  • 1997, Award of Merit, Structural Engineers Association of Illinois
  • 1997, Certificate of Honor, Structural Engineers Association of Illinois
  • 1999, Lumen Award, New York Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society
  • 2004, Aga Khan Award for Architecture
  • Principal Project Photography: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

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