In focus: Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Towers

In focus: Kuala Lumpur's iconic Petronas Towers

In focus: Kuala Lumpur's iconic Petronas TowersNo tailor-made holidays to Malaysia are complete without a visit to Kuala Lumpur’s twin Petronas Towers – the iconic skyscrapers that dominate KL’s skyline in dramatic fashion.

The most instantly recognisable landmark of modernity in the Malaysian capital, it’s truly fascinating to marvel at the 1,488ft high structure which is remarkably interwoven amidst traditional Malay culture in a location where you will find that the old and new collide at numerous intersections.

You may have seen the landmark on postcards but what do you really know about KL’s Petronas Towers? Here’s our quick fire guide.

How are the Petronas Towers used?

Petronas is in fact a state owned Malaysian oil/gas company and in a nutshell, their headquarters operate out of Tower One. Tower Two on the other hand is the home to numerous global blue chip brands such as Boeing, IBM, Al Jazeera English and Microsoft.

Why are the towers a tourism hotspot?

The towers don’t function merely as a glorified set of offices alone, far from it. The sheer scale and multi-use development of the Petronas Towers ensures tourists flock to the landmark when touching down in KL.

The Skybridge – connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors at 558ft – is open to around 1000 lucky members of the public each day, who have to queue for a ticket, but it is all worth it given the unbeatable panoramic views of central KL and her surrounds it offers.

Who designed the towers?

The Petronas Towers were initially designed in 1992 by revered Argentine architect, Cesar Pelli who has designed some of the world’s tallest buildings including Manhattan’s World Financial Center.

The towers were designed as a deliberate symbol of 21st century modernity in a deeply traditional setting and the floor plan of the towers actually takes the shape of the Islamic eight-pointed star.

Cleverly incorporating cultural meaning, the five layered segments of each tower also represent the sacred five pillars of Islam – the religion practiced most readily in Malaysia.

How do the towers rank in height on a global scale?

The Petronas Towers were actually ranked as the tallest building in the world for a period of six years after opening in 1998 but were surpassed by the 1,667ft Taipei 101 in 2004, the 1,614ft Shanghai World Financial Center in 2008 and the incredible 2,716ft Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.