In Kuala Lumpur, with a height that reaches 452 meters, are the Petronas Towers, the twin towers that until 2003 was the tallest building. They are also the headquarters of the Malaysian oil company "Petronas", hence its name. Let's get to know them a little better.
Lifting the Petronas Towers
At the time of being built, they were devised by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad. This leader thought of a symbol of the country, which had to be both a traditional building that had some elements of style corresponding to Islamic culture.Petronas Towers - tcharts
The architect responsible for carrying out the project was César Pelli. For work he thought of a base that would have an eight-pointed star shape. This is an Islamic symbol that represents harmony and order. To all this were added semicircular convexities intended for the extension of the useful surface.
The static engineer was Charlie Thornton. This professional thought that the base had great possibilities to support the tallest building on the planet.
The truth is the omens when building the skyscraper were not the best. After laying the first stone in 1992, the work stopped because the rock under the place where the building should be was very fragile to support the towers.
Because of this, Thornton made the decision to move the entire complex about 60 meters and thus lift a soft floor skyscraper. When filling the foundations of the two towers, they had to pour special concrete 52 hours in a row.
Information of interest of the Petronas TowersPetronas Towers - Naz Amir / Flickr.com
They were built from 1992 to 1997, have 88 floors and are 452 meters high. They have 47 normal elevators and 29 of two floors in each tower. Its construction cost nothing less than 950 million euros.
Add that its foundations are the deepest on the planet, because they must withstand a weight of 270,000 tons for each structure.
"Science can have fun and fascinate us, but it is engineering that changes the world."
Kuala Lumpur City CenterKuala Lumpur City Center - Jutta M. Jenning / Flickr.com
Inside the complex is the Kuala Lumpur City Center. This place has shopping centers, banks and hotels. In addition to this, there is also an art gallery and concert hall.
The term for its construction was six years, and for each day of planned delay, companies had to pay $ 700,000 as a penalty. The result was that all the works were carried out at great pace and with great pressure.
In this great work, up to 2,000 workers could be counted working 24 hours a day. And that, without any rest day during the week. It took four days for each floor in an 88-story building.
The team that worked on Tower I had some advantage. When the works reached the 72nd floor, a surveyor determined that the tower had an inclination of 2.5 cm with respect to the vertical.
Charlie Thornton managed to correct this error and the last 16 floors they were built with an inclination of 0.2 cm per floor. The tower is stable and no such defect can be detected when viewed. The realization workers finished without problems.Petronas Towers - Mike Burke / Flickr.com
Between floors 41 and 42, about 170 meters high, there is a 400-ton bridge called Sky Bridge and that is responsible for communicating the two towers. It is possible to use the walkway as an emergency exit whenever necessary, and is resting on ball bearings that give it extra stability.
The completionPetronas Towers - Andres Miguez /Flickr.com
In 1997 the Petronas Towers were finished and the inauguration took place in style. Until 2003, as we said at the beginning, they formed the tallest building on the planet.
At present, There is talk of a new building 630 meters high and would have 118 floors, called Merdeka PNB118, and that will be completed in its first stage in 2020. It will be the structure that destroys the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
If finished, it would be the second tallest building on the continent and the fifth on the planet. Inside there will be a luxury hotel with 236 rooms, 82 office floors and a shopping center that will house more than 200 stores and a cinema.
But meanwhile, Petronas Towers are still a symbol of their country. Would you dare to climb to its highest floor? The views are spectacular.