The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur were once the world’s tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004. The twin towers were designed by architect César Pelli and were completed in 1998. They became the tallest buildings in the world on the date of completion.
The 88-floor building were constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world’s deepest foundations.
The Sky Bridge
The modern and high tech twin towers buildings also incorporated contemporary Malaysian motifs, adapted from traditional handiwork such as the songket and timber carvings that are beautifully featured at the tower’s entrance. These motifs, fashioned in wood and mosaic, blend well with the overall interior, incorporating Malaysian heritage to the reception areas of Towers One and Two.
The Petronas Twin Towers house the corporate headquarters of the national petroleum corporation, Petronas, other corporations and the entire Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) development. They are linked by a skybridge at the 41st and 42nd floors. The skybridge provides a superb view of the Kuala Lumpur surroundings.
The Petronas Twin Towers skybridge is 170m high and 58m long. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but the free passes (limited to only 1400 visitors per day, which usually run out before noon) must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. The skybridge is opened from 9 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays unless it is a public holiday.
The ticketing office is located at the basement of the main entrance to the Petronas Twin towers, just next to the KLCC Maybank branch. You can take the escalator on either side of the main entrance foyer.
Remember that the free tickets for the skybridge tour is only available on first-come, first-served basis, and it’s not issued for advance dates of visit. All free tickets are gone by 10 am. So…come early to get your ticket!
You will only be given about 10 minutes to be on the skybridge, but coming early and queuing for the free passes is really worth it!
Situated between the twin towers at the podium level is the Petronas Philharmonic Hall, home to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Petronas Performing Arts Group. The ceiling of Petronas Philharmonic Hall is made of acoustically transparent material. You can also find a a large Klais pipe organ with 4,740 pipes in the hall.
Nestled at the foot of the Petronas Twin Towers is the famous Suria KLCC shopping mall which also houses the Petronas Art Gallery and the Petrosains Petroleum Discovery Centre. The Petronas Petrosains Centre is located on the 4th floor and soley focuses on Malaysia’s oil industry. Petrosains is well known for its Dark Ride course, Flight Simulators and Adventure, Molecular Magic, Geotime Formation and Petrojaya sections.
Suria KLCC also houses the Aquaria KLCC which is a 90-metre long underwater tunnel, that keeps over 150 different species of fish from Malaysia and around the world. From Suria KLCC, you can see the splendid KLCC Park which is a popular venue for family picnics spot. The park is equipped with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools and a children’s playground. If you visit the Petronas Twin Towers in the evening, you can enjoy the fantastic fountain’s water display.
Another attraction at the Petronas Twin Towers is the Asy-Syakirin Mosque, known as Jewel in the Park, located in the vicinity of the twin towers. The Asy-Syakirin Mosque is adorned with intricate Uzbek carvings and calligraphy both in the interior and internal façades of the dome.
The Petronas Twin Towers have witnessed many notable events , both planned and unplanned! In 1999, French urban climber, Alain “Spiderman” Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices of any kind, scaled the building’s exterior glass and steel wall. His bid to reach the top of the building was cut short when police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the summit.
A man was also reported to base jumped off a crane used for the window washing staff to the ground, and immediately disappeared to avoid being arrested. The 1999 film Entrapment starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery, features the Tower’s complex security systems being infiltrated in order to steal from a high-security bank in the tower at midnight on New Year’s Day.
The Petronas Twin Towers, which dethroned the Sears Tower in Chicago for the honour of world’s tallest building, lost its title when the 508m Taipei 101 (Financial Centre) was opened in October 2003.
Nevertheless, it still hold the record for the worid’s tallest twin freestanding towers and has also been selected as the winner of the prestigous Aga Khan award for architectural achievements for the year 2004.