Since the world’s first skyscraper was born, and it happened in 1913 in America, when the first-born of skyscraper construction was erected – the 241-meter, 60-story Woolworth Building, the desire to reach greater and greater heights has been unstoppable. According to official statistics, the so-called “Petronas Towers” (Petronas Towers) are considered to be the tallest building in the world today – two twin towers that adorn the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
According to Be Healthy by Tomorrow, the history of their appearance fell on the end of the 80s – the beginning of the 90s of the last century, at a time when the city authorities of the capital, driven to despair by the constant presence of huge traffic jams that accumulate at the venue of the horse races organized by the Selangon Turf Club, forced him change your location. And although the fact that the club owners agreed to this step was not disputed, the final equestrian competitions took place only in August 1992, that is, a month before the final official decision was made on the entry into force of the project to build a huge business center on this site.
The prehistory of this project was as follows. Since in the very center of the extremely built-up Kuala Lumpur, in connection with the move to another place of the city hippodrome, a fairly decent space of 40 hectares and a cost of hundreds of millions of ringgits (Malaysian dollars) was released, serious passions flared up around him.
At first, it was supposed to break a huge park here, designed to become a kind of “lungs” of a city with more than a million inhabitants. But when the idea arose in the minds of those in power that it would be much better to make this park just a relatively small part of a large commercial complex, the public rebelled. The Malaysian government and city authorities were accused of going back on their word, of ignoring the interests of the vast majority of the population in favor of the interests of big business tycoons. It was also incomprehensible how it would be possible to get rid of traffic jams if, instead of a hippodrome, which was small in principle, a huge complex was built, designed for the simultaneous presence of many thousands of people in it.
The dissatisfaction growing day by day was extinguished by a completely rational explanation, supported by financial calculations: to equip and maintain a park of such a huge size in due order is an extremely expensive pleasure, but due to the income that the commercial activities of the Center will bring, it will be much easier to do this, and without any damage to the city budget. In addition, the authorities promised a significant expansion of highways around the proposed Center and even the construction of a light transit railway line by the time all construction work was completed. All this seemed to satisfy public opinion, and the decision to build a business center along with a park was finally made.
Even in the process of preparing the project, local tycoon T. Ananda Krishan was actively involved in it. And although, apparently, due to great human modesty, Krishan always preferred not to draw too much attention to his person, the business empire he headed called MIA Holdings was huge. He owned not only a fair share of the country’s oil and gas developments and the export of these natural resources, he also owned the largest telecommunications systems and satellites. Participation in the construction of this complex and subsequent profits seemed to Krishan extremely promising. His advertising agency began to produce a large number of booklets and posters, promising the people of Kualalumpur not only office buildings, but also a new mosque, a shopping center and hotels, all framed by a park,
Almost simultaneously with the company MIA Holdings, the largest national Malaysian oil company Petronas National Berhard, better known as simply Petronas, decided to make its own, and considerable, contribution to the implementation of this project. She generally set out to place her headquarters in one of the buildings.
As a result of a joint agreement between the above companies, Kuala Lumpur City Center Berhard was formed in September 1992. The shares of this enterprise were divided as follows: 49.5% were acquired by Petronas, 48% – by MIA, while the remaining 2.5% fell to other small shareholders.
The competition for the best project of the planned structure was organized on a large scale and provided for the involvement of applicants, as they say, “by invitation”. It was attended by 8 different architectural firms with an international reputation for being highly skilled and highly professional firms. The competition was won by the Connecticut architectural firm Cesar Pelli & Associates, led by 50-year-old architect Cesar Pelli, who by that time had created many of the most original buildings scattered around the world.
At first, he proposed the idea of building two 88-storey slender twin towers, containing a 12-ray star in plan as one of the motifs of Muslim architecture. But pretty soon, Pelli decided to settle on the 8-pointed star, which is more common and popular in Islamic symbols.
In 1992, the final project was finally approved and work began on the study and verification of both the surface and, especially carefully, the deep composition of soils. They were made at a stunning depth of imagination – more than 100 meters. A few months later, the foundation stone was laid. It looked like this: non-stop, for two and a half days, every 90 seconds, with the help of special machines, the base was poured with concrete, its total volume, which went to the construction of the foundation, amounted to 13,000 cubic meters.
In 1994, when construction work was already in full swing, the Malaysian government decided out of the blue that the design height of the towers, which was 427 meters (which was 16 meters must be increased to break the American record. And this meant that the construction had to be stopped, and the already embodied project was redone, and radically.
The most seemingly simple and obvious way to solve this difficult task – adding extra floors – was unacceptable in this situation, this was proved by elementary mathematical calculations. Therefore, there was only one way left – to “stretch” as much as possible both the towers themselves, which were much flatter according to the original plan, and their spiers. Pelli coped with this task with honor. Two years later, after all the necessary alterations in the buildings themselves and the erection of steel domes over each of them with high pointed towers 73.5 meters high each, on April 15, 1996, almost two years before the final completion of construction, the Petronas Tower was recognized as the tallest office building in the world. The official opening of this grand structure took place on August 28, 1999.