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 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world replacing World Trade Center in New York. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.
The towers were designed by Argentine American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed, beginning on 1 March 1993 with the excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres (98 ft) below the surface.
The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track.
Comparison with other towers
The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world.
- The climax of the 1999 film Entrapment was filmed at the skybridge.
- The Petronas Towers are in the first frame of film after the opening credit in the Pilot episode of the Emmy Award Winning show 24.
- On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.