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The Icon Of Malaysia – KLCC

The Icon Of Malaysia – KLCC

Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is a multipurpose development area in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The area is located around Jalan Ampang, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Binjai, Jalan Kia Peng and Jalan Pinang. There are also hotels within walking distance such as G Tower, Mandarin Oriental, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur and InterContinental Kuala Lumpur.

Designed to be a city within a city, the 100 acres site hosts the tallest twin buildings in the world, a shopping mall, office buildings and several hotels. A public park and a mosque have also been built in the area and are open to everyone. The whole project is cooled via district cooling located on the property.

The site of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre was historically part of an affluent suburban residential area north of the old Kuala Lumpur town, linked to the town via Ampang Road and populated by bungalows and mansions dating as far back as the colonial early 20th century.

The centrepiece of the area was the original site of the Selangor Turf Club, with many houses constructed around the site to capitalise on views of the racing course. As large-scale development moved northwards from old Kuala Lumpur town after the 1950s, development of the area gradually shifted from low-density residential homes to high-density commercial complexes and offices, raising the appeal of developing the suburb into a new commercial centre for Kuala Lumpur.

In 1988, the Selangor Turf Club site and adjoining residential parcels were sold to be cleared away for the KLCC project; the Turf Club was subsequently relocated to Serdang. In the subsequent years after the relocation of the Turf Club, more surrounding residential plots were acquired for further development of KLCC.

Petronas Twin Towers

The Petronas Twin Towers was constructed between 1993 and 1998 and the tallest buildings in the world from 1 January 1998 to 31 December 2004. Currently, it still holds the record for the tallest twin buildings in the world. It is the headquarters of Petronas, a Fortune 100 state-owned oil company and also the largest company in Southeast Asia.

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)’s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, until they were surpassed by Taipei 101. The Petronas Towers remain the tallest twin towers in the world.

The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower; they remain the tallest buildings in Kuala Lumpur.

Notable Events

On 15 Apr 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

On the morning of 1 Sept 2009, French urban climber Alain “Spiderman” Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. In his first attempt on 20 Mar 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the “summit”. The second attempt on 20 Mar 2007, exactly 10 years later, was also stopped on the same floor, though on the other tower.

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 Sept 2001 after a bomb threat the day after the Sept 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

On the evening of 4 Nov 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants

Anchor tenants

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including SapuraOMV Upstream (Sarawak) Inc., Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling Co) and Reuters.

Suria KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft) upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Boasting approximately 300 stores, Suria KLCC is touted as one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia. The Petronas Philharmonic Hall, also built at the base of the towers, is frequently associated with Suria KLCC’s floor space.

KLCC Park

Spanning 17 acres below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain incorporated with light show, wading pools, and a children’s playground.

Skybridge

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m (558ft) above the ground and 58.4m (192ft) long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

The skybridge 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 skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 Sept 2001 (the day after the Sept 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres (167ft) long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in Jul 1995. Instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

Contributed by: Kristina Neoh

For further details please email kristinaneoh@hartamas.com

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