Petronas Towers
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Architect Cesar Pelli
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Location Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   map
Date 1998   timeline
Building Type skyscraper, commercial office tower
 Construction System glass, steel, and concrete
Climate tropical
Context urban
Style Modern
Notes Tapering twin towers (connected by a sky bridge) share an Islamic-influenced geometrically polygonal plan. Featured extensively in "Entrapment", a cool action movie starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones.


Photo, looking up at the twin towers

Photo, exterior, at dusk

Photo, exterior, looking up


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Discussion Petronas Towers Commentary

At 1483 feet (452m) tall, the tallest building in the world at the date of its completion, measured to the highest point. However, the Sears Tower in Chicago still has the highest occupied building floor, more than 200 feet higher than the highest occupied floor of the Petronas Towers.


The towers have 32,000 windows.

— Judith Dupre, Skyscrapers.

Each of the twin Petronas Towers is 88 stories plus an additional architectural point (at 1242 feet), plus a tall spire to 1483 feet. Compare to the Sears Tower in Chicago which is 110 stories, and the twin World Trade Center towers in New York, which were each 110 stories. Although these other skyscrapers were created with higher occupied floors, they are not considered as tall under the arcane rules used for rating the world's tallest, according to which architectural spires count towards building height, but antennas atop a building do not.

Sources on Petronas Towers

"Building Petronas Towers", by Cesar Pelli and Michael J. Crosbie, ArchitectureWeek No. 135, 2003.0219, pB1. Includes building section and detail drawings.

Cesar Pelli and Michael J. Crosbie. Petronas Towers: The Architecture of High Construction. John Wiley & Sons, 2001. ISBN 0471495476. — Available at

Super Structures of the World : Skyscrapers. 1998. VHS-NTSC format video tape. ISBN 1575233649. — Video - Available at

Judith Dupre. Skyscrapers. Black Dog and Leventhal, June, 1996. ISBN 1-8848-2245-2. — A fun and informative gift book in skycraper format, 18" tall and 7.5" wide, with perfect pictures and key information on tallest buildings over the decades, up to the 1998 Petronas Towers. Available at

Architectural Record, January 1999. feature article.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Petronas Towers


Web Resources
Links on Petronas Towers

Petronas Twin TowersOfficial web site
Petronas Twin Towers - Dare to DreamStory behind the towers
Is 2000 Feet Per Minute EnoughOtis Elevator article about super-elevator engineering issues

Petronas Towers at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

We appreciate your  suggestions  for links about Petronas Towers.

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