Design: Malaysia’s Twin Skyscrapers

The Petronas Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world, standing over 1,400 feet in the air.

Today in Design, we take a look at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Once the tallest buildings in the world, these mega towers rise 88 stories above the city streets. Constructed mainly of reinforced concrete, the Petronas Towers required a foundation unlike any other building in the world. Architects relied on 104 piles diving up to 374 feet in the ground and 470,000 cubic feet of concrete to ensure the massive structure remained sturdy in the soft rock it was built on. Since reinforced concrete proved to be cheaper and more effective in sway reduction, engineers decided to use the material throughout the structure. Instead of keeping the towers separate, a two-story bridge joins the buildings 558 feet above the street. With strict instructions from the Malaysian government to complete the buildings in six years, two separate firms were hired for the job, one for each tower. The Petronas towers currently operate as commercial offices and proudly stand 1,483 feet above the streets of Malaysia.