Like other wonderful buildings in the world, namely the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur also have a place in time: they reflect the oil history of Malaysia, which started in the 19th century. Oil was first discovered by the people of Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak) with the first find at Canada Hill, Miri, Sarawak. Before its commercialization, oil was collected and used for lighting lamps and for medical purposes, mainly in the treatment of skin disorders like eczema.
Oil drilling began in Miri in August 1910 and oil finally started flowing in December that same year. Thanks to Miri success in oil discovery, the oil exploration then proceeded to other onshore areas of Sabah and Sarawak, though to date Miri is the only onshore area that contains oil. Miri oil industry has produced more than 80 million barrels of oil in its life span. It was only in the 1960s that Malaysia managed to track down other areas with significant oil quantities, first in offshore Sarawak and later in Sabah and Terengganu.
These findings eventually led to the incorporation of the national company PETRONAS (Petroliam Nasional) in 1974. Petronas functions were to manage the reserves of crude oil and national gas, important contributors to the country’s development. The success of Malaysian oil industry can today be seen through the splendour of the Petronas Twin Towers. Petronas Twin Towers are of course the location of Petronas’ headquarters, a 100% state owned company and the largest company in South East Asia.
These twin towers are also known as Twin Skyscrapers and are the tallest building in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. With their height of 454 meters, these tower held the record as tallest building in the world from 1st January 1998 to 31st December 2004. Beside that, due to the soil, it is known as the building built on the deepest foundation in the world.
The site where the Petronas Twin Towers were built was once a Hindu temple named Anandha Krishnan as well as an old horse race track. Located at Jalan Ampang, the towers were designed by Argentina-born architect Cesar Pelli; the project started off in 1992 and construction was completed in 5 years, with the official opening celebrated in 1999 by YAB Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s 4th Prime Minister. The design of the building won the bid as it is not only capture the public eyes but it also represents the past and future of Malaysia, embracing the country’s heritage towards modernization and symbolizing Malaysia’s culture and advancement on the world stage. Most of Petronas towers interior motifs are a reflection of local handicrafts and weaving patterns, and the combination of stainless steel and glass reflect Islamic patterns. Also to be noted that the buildings floor plates have shape of eight-pointed stars which architecturally describe important Islamic principles.
Thanks to this beautiful design and the towers’ height, the Petronas Twin Towers have become one of Malaysia’s landmark, and an important feature in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Each tower has sharp pinnacles standing 73.5 meters tall and feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square meters of stainless steel. They can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
This impressive compound is part of the KLCC complex (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) and consists of 88 storey with offices, a shopping mall ( http://www.suriaklcc.com.my – 5 floors of mostly expensive brand boutiques and many restaurants, with a recommended food court on the 2nd floor), a hotel, a TGV movie theater on the 3rd floor, Kinakurnya – the largest bookstore in Kuala Lumpur, Petrosains – the interactive technology exhibition/museum by Petronas on the 4th floor, a state-of-the-art aquarium on the ground floor (Aquaria KLCC http://aquariaklcc.com – where you can even dive with sharks) and a Sky Bridge located at the 41st floor, which is free and limited to 800 tickets a day spread over 20 time slots. Great views are to be had from this vantage point, so try to get there early since tickets are issued starting at 8.30am.
The towers and KLCC are surrounded by a fantastically landscaped park complete with benches, manicured lawns and a lake with a water fountain that gives you an ever changing skyline view. The area is suitable for those who want to spend time at leisure and with family, tourists and locals alike, as well as being a popular romantic meeting place for couples. The new affluent city district created around them includes many new luxury Condonimums in the immediate vicinity, which creates a contrast great for picture taking.
A must for any visit to Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Twin Towers are open to public daily from 9am to 7pm, closing on Fridays between 1pm to 2.30pm due to muslim prayers. Entrance fee for the observation deck on the 86th floor is steep at RM80 for adults and RM25 for locals (present a Malaysian Identity Card), and RM12 for children.
To get there, you can chose from the LRT – stop at KLCC Station, Monorail – Bukit Nanas station is at a 10 min walk along Jalan Ampang. Find out facts at http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my – and for more information you can contact Infoline at 0063-323318080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org