Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Petronas Twin Towers

I've had this huge obsession with skyscrapers, and The Petronas Twin Towers is just one of them. Ever since it was completed a decade ago, I've always been fascinated by the magnificant twin towers of Malaysia and as a kid I've always wanted to be up close to witness the sheer beauty. On February 18 at 8 PM local time, I've finally achieved that dream at the age of 25; standing below and between the towers with all the glory and taking pictures of it (albeit with limited gear). The experience was extraordinary!

Standing in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, the Petronas Twin Towers used to be known as the world's tallest buildings until the Taipei 101 tower surpassed it in 2004. It was one of Malaysia's mega-projects headed by the former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the 90's and it was completed in 1998, officiated by the ex-minister himself. Built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track, the 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete with a steel and glass façade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. The man behind this exquisite design was Argentine-American architect César Pelli.

Tower One is fully occupied by the Petronas Company and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies. The office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Accenture, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, TCS, Krawler Networks, Microsoft, The Agency (A modeling company) and Reuters.

The towers feature a sky bridge between the two towers on 41st and 42nd floors. The sky bridge is open to all visitors, but free passes (limited to 1700 people per day) must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building. The bridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the sky bridge to the other tower. As for the elevators, they are primarily located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to odd numbered floors and upper deck to even numbered floors. In order to access an even numbered floor from ground level, passengers are required to use an escalator to access the upper deck of the elevator.

The Suria KLCC is a 1.5 million sq. feet (140,000 m²) shopping complex located at the base of the Petronas Towers. It is located on 6 floors, with anchor tenants Isetan, Parkson Grand, Tanjong Golden Village, Signatures Level 2 Food Court and Marks and Spencer. It houses mostly luxury and fashionable shops, as well as cafes, restaurants, a 12 screen cinema, a concert hall, an art gallery, and a Science Discovery Centre. Spanning 17 acres (69,000 m2) outside the building is the KLCC park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

Looking up from the base of one of the Towers at night. Melangui buiii!

I would want to return to the mighty twin towers again in the future, and by then I should be equipped with an ultra-wide lens and a tripod should I want to re-capture the towers in all its glory. The pictures I shot were pretty tight because I've only been using my one lens, the Sigma 24-70mm. It was quite a challenge to capture something so massive on a portrait zoom lens and a crop factor. I will return.


Tiger said...

Those are magnificent structures

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