The Petronas Twin Towers was officially opened on the 31st August 1999 by Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dato Seri Dr. Mahatir Mohammad. The tower is not only a landmark for the city of Kuala Lumpur but it is also a symbol of Malaysia’s achievement. Besides that it is also a constant reminder to all Malaysians of how the country will achieve the status of developed country come the year 2020.
The twin towers are also home to the Malaysian Petroleum Company which is known as Petroliam Nasional Berhad or Petronas which the towers are named after. The company engages in a wide variety of oil and gas related operations in more than 30 countries worldwide and is also ranked amongst the Fortune Global 500 largest corporations.
It was Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir who came up with the idea to build the tower as he wanted something that was different and that people around the world could instantly recognize it as being an iconic symbol of Malaysia such as the Great Pyramid in Egypt and the Great Wall of China.
The design of the twin towers were created by Cesar Pelli & Associates from America and it was built on a former horse racing track located on Jalan Ampang. The project was completed in the year 1997 and Petronas Twin Towers become the highest twin building in the world standing at 452m (1483 feet). However the title has since been taken over by the Burj Khalifa which officially opened in 2010 in Dubai.
Since Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, the design of the building also follows the concept of the religion for example the design uses simple Islamic geometric forms of two interlocking squares which create an eight pointed star shape. There are also eight superimposed semi-circles upon the eight pointed stars that soften the inner angles. This particular design was used in the architecture as it reflects some of the important aspects of the religion such as unity within unity, harmony, stability and rationality.
Another attraction of the twin towers is the Sky Bridge which is also the highest double story bridge in the world. The bridge is located on the 41st and 42nd floor and visitors are allowed to go up to the Sky Bridge however they can only visit the 41st floor section as the 42nd one has been reserved for tenants. Admission is free with about 1500 tickets issued each day, it is on a first come first serve basis so you might want to get there early to get your tickets.
The towers are mainly used as office spaces with Tower 1 being fully occupied by Petronas as well as its subsidiaries and associate companies while Tower 2 houses multinational companies and is open for leasing. Besides this, visitors can also find an 864 seat arena which is home to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra located at the podium level.
There is also a modern contemporary museum called Petrosains that displays just about anything that has to do with oil and gas, here visitors can interact with the displays and exhibits. For the shopping fanatics there is also a shopping complex located here, called Suria KLCC and you will be able to find just about anything and everything there.