A brief background & development history on KLCC ("The Kuala Lumpur City Centre") & Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - The notorious traffic jam along Jalan Ampang back in the 1970 ~ mid of 1990 during any race day at the Selangor Turf Club’s course where the current entire KLCC locates was a distant memory now. Widely seen as a brain child of Malaysia's retired Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed - it was another of his conceptual thinking in transforming the "unproductive" once-a-month utilities into a visionary "City within the City" concept. (For a brief History of the vacated Turf Club, Click Here or Here - the latter was actually MIR's content writing of our S. Puvaneswary (Ms.) while we developed for Petronas Mymesra Official Site). Hence, an international opened bid was called, the eventual winning entry was work by California based architectural firm, Klages Carter Vail & Partners ("KCV" - the Company was annexed by Denver-based RNL Design in 2000 in a successful corporate merger). KCV was an active player in the Pacific Rim. Many local buildings actually bore their signatures as well.
Menara Dion, a 63,500 square meter high-rise office building Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur Equatorial Hotel, Melacca. a 520-room business, conference, and resort hotel located within the heart of Malacca's historical district, RHB Training centre, .a1.7 million square foot facility located in Kuala Lumpur for RHB Banking Group Oooi.. Come to think of it, what has happened to our local architects ? These are not entirely another larger-scale KLCC-class development projects - Malaysia is not short of creative talents, it should be the other way round, instead of letting foreign architectural firms to assault our market, so- buck up man...
The point of interest in this discussion was, the early accepted proposal was actually slightly differed from what is going on around the existing structures at the entire KLCC development project. The Petronas Twin Towers, as seen from the 3-D mockup was actually quite "boring" as compared with the current structural design, isn't it ?
I am not good at building studies and cannot understand the relation to procedures of awards of contract and plan design and so on. So, it has kept me puzzled between respective roles of Carter Vail & Partners and Cesar Pelli & Associates in the design of KLCC/Twin Towers. Well, it makes a little sense now WHY the official site of KLCC created a portfolio relating to the twin towers' designer. Cesar Pelli of Cesar Pelli & Associates Architects (Home Page).have won quite a number of industrial awards in building designs. Other than the KLCC's Petronas Twin Towers, other thumb prints of his with significant interest are, Canary Wharf, London, World Financial Centre, Manhattan, Carnegie Hall Tower(1991/3), New York City, Owens-Corning World Headquarters, NTT Headquarters (1997), Bank of America Corporate Center, Petronas Towers (1999) + many others.
The entire master plan for KLCC project development around freehold prime property (KLCC: 40.5 hectares - Petronas Twin Towers & Retail: 5.8 hectares with 18,000 m2 each tower - 994,000 m2 total Petronas complex) was focused into seven main sections. i.e. Office Buildings, Hotels, Retails, Convention Centre, Residential, Recreational facilities and Infrastructure. The conceptual redevelopment project was to covert site of the former Selangor Turf Club, a 100-acre horse race track located in the center of Kuala Lumpur's “Golden Triangle, into an integrated, self-contained modern city as well as creating a new landscape for the capital city of Malaysia. The work of first phase was probably began between in 1992/3, with the 1,483 feet, 88-story tall Twin Towers as the center stage of attraction (It surpassed the Sears Tower, Chicago- once held the “world's tallest building” distinction since 1974- by 33 feet.). The various office buildings provides an estimate 11 million sq./ft. space. The retail area, Suria KLCC is a six-levels modern shopping centre with a capacity of approx. 1.5 million sq. ft was another highlight. The third, a 49-storey Menara Maxis was a little coincidental - because it was also the headquarters of the businessman, T Ananda Krishnan who has been given the task of undertook this mega-project. Mr. Ananda, was relatively unknown to even many Malaysian during the early '90 because his core business activities was centered around United Kingdom where he primarily engaged in oil & gas, properties and others (he even owned an studio in Hollywood for Cartoon movies and other businesses in countries like Australia etc.). Basically, the man was handpicked by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as his self-establshed international creditability was part of the element in ensuring the RM3 billion (US1.00 to approx. RM3.70/80) project will get international/local funding. As the projected completion may take 7-8 years, the trade off was a series of proprietary business licenses such as award of a lottery operating permit, creating a multimedia/telecommunication empire from scratch to ensure sustainability of business income to support during the duration. That was how the current hugely successful Public Listed establishments of Tanjong PLC (gaming), Maxis (Cellular Phone Operator), Astro (Multimedia & Satellite Communication), Powertek (Oil & Gas - now de-listed, privatized & grouped under Tanjong PLC) & KLCC (Property, Retail and building Management) all took shape during that intensive development era. Despite with an unofficial wealth count, the listed entities of the entire business empire was close to USD 9 Billion and many people even quoted him easily as one of the wealthiest Malaysian today, Mr. Ananda still stays relatively very low profile. Frankly, until I did a search, I am not aware the 30-storey Menara Esso Esso (now called Esso-Mobile) building was part of the entire project. The Mandarin Oriental (Kuala Lumpur) Hotel, one of the handful of Asian hotel that has been voted as the best hotel in a succession of 5 years in Bangkok, was just annexed to the KLCC' Suria Shopping Mall (with an approx. 1.2 million traffic flow of visitors a WEEK !) serves as a logical supplement to this ultramodern project.
As Islam is the official religion of the country existing few smaller nearby locations for Friday's prayer may not be adequate to accommodate enlarged working/tourist community, thus, one of the purpose of the Asy-Syakirin Mosque (Surau" in Bahasa Malaysia) was designed to resolve this issue and provide easy access for Muslim tenants whenever it requires. The interior design, with facade of the dome finished in patterned gypsum ceiling while Islamic carvings and calligraphy as well as external facade of the dome was works of the skilled craftsmen from Uzbekistan. The combined presentation exhibits a strong Islamic feel. The Mosque, is actually a 3-storey multi-levels structure (main hall, the lower hall and the trellis area.) with its main prayer to accommodate approx. 6,000 people. The serene, greenery surroundings of the park helps calm the mind and soothe the soul as worshippers spend time in prayer. The district Cooling Center, on a less significant note architecturally, is meant for air-conditioning and infrastructure works within the vicinity.
Among the mentioned, the spacious 50-acres KLCC's Public Park deserves a separate featured section as its tropical landscaping in the heart of the KLCC development provides an urban sanctuary and lessen the strong sense of commercial touch. Unlike the rest of other more eye-arresting concrete structures, the man who was appointed to design the landscaping of this park was the conceptual idea of a world renowned Brazilian landscape artist, the late Roberto Burle Marx, where this was regarded as one of his last masterpiece. The amenities include a two-acre public (means "free") children's playground, a two-in-one symphony fountain, wading pool, a modern 1.8km a round jogging track that surfaced with Rubberflex® shock absorption and traction necessary for safe, comfortable outdoor running; good shelters and benches, patterned footpaths and sculptures. I was told Mr. Roberto has spent 3 years around the country to identify various species of trees which has resulted relocation of approx. 2000/74 trees/palm/species to this park. Many of the more distinctive species have been labeled and explanation of their respective origin are placed under each of them as references. Out of curiosity, for the last one year (I do jog or walk almost daily during evening as it is just located between my house and office), I don't seem to find Durian, coconut, rambutans and some good representative species, hehe....so, out of respect, sometimes, I 'would still think it lacks a little good input by local landscaping consultants.
Anyway, another striking display of the park is the 2-fountains Lake Symphony which actually locates just outside Suria KLCC. It is programmed to perform 150 magical dramatic animation but only at specific interval time table (the best possible timing was at the evening). So, all these basic info may help someone as a reference point in case you are interested in participating in this showcase.
Larger View @ 264k Jpeg
OFF TOPIC: As my office was just next to KLCC/Petronas Twin Towers, I may have the chance of seeing the erection of this massive development from day one but call it stupid or anything, I have never took the opportunity of recording the entire process during the construction as I was busy building my business up during this span of time (actually, a friend of mine did - Eric Peris was was engaged by KLCC to shoot black and white as an assignment, so I never seriously thinking of it, partly also due to security control was tight during construction process). Well, if any of you have pictures of old Turf Club and/or construction process of KLCC, do consider mail in your photos as background info archive.
Seen a Satellite Picture of KLCC before ? Google Map has one..
I am not sure who was the agency who has designed the KLCC corporate logo. The KLCC corporate site provides some rationale on its design "... logo is derived from a "Dualism Theme"; the twinning of KLCC with the city itself. The corporate colours are in blue and green. Blue for the high-rise with the blue sky and waterscape, green for the park and the landscape...".
Well, other than -recreating a new landscape for Kuala Lumpur and good utilization of the last piece of vacant land in the heart of the city, you may also ask or even question of what significant it brings to Malaysian with the entire KLCC/Petronas Twin Towers mega-project ? One way or another, I would not like to remind anyone that Malaysia, despite it permits free practice of various religion and customs due to formation of a multiracial community, Islam remains as the primary religion for the largely Malay community (exceeds 60%). Islamic teaching doesn't permit or encourage any form of gambling, whether like to admit it or don't - Horse Racing is not just a recreational hobby anymore (errr... Malaysian didn't invent this, okay ?.. ) . To have a turf club right in the city also possess many other secondary issues such as traffic congestion and other related social problems. Although the government was never indirectly prohibited this centuries-long form, but neither the potential factor of possible turning this as a political issue. The reallocation of the Turf Club was also occurred back in 1992/3. (See: Selangor Turf Club). Next, ask any tour operators or I don't think anyone would also disagree the capital city of Kuala Lumpur previously also lack interesting MODERN landmarks in numbers after realizing potentially revenues tourism can generate. Theoretically, Malaysia is full of interesting historical or nature spots for visiting tourists and/or business travelers, but economically, nothing is better to glue any short-stayed tourist in a city area as one may tend to leave more foreign notes behind). Partly, it may also be inspired by observing what tourism can bring to boost economic growth in neighboring countries such as Thailand. The explosive economic boom after end of the eighties, international political/religious conflict as well as personal aspiration - widely seen as Mahathir's idea to showcase an ideal modern Islamic nation was behind the entire project. Personally, I would think it carries another objective. One of the main weakness of Malaysian businesses was lack of confidence. What is more better than building a internationally acclaimed landmark (it was once World's tallest man-made structure as at 2003) to boost confidence and self-respect of the entire nation ? Brilliant to most wisdom thinkers but may be treating as wasteful project to some but overall, I think the benefits it brought across the board thus far juts seemed to overwhelms various negative aspect.
" ... For the Petronas headquarters, [Dr. Mahathir] wanted a building that would be identifiably Malaysian, that was of world class standards and which Malaysians could be proud of.. .” This statement from the current Petronas Chairman, Tan Sri Dato Sri Mohd Hasan Marican who took over from the much respected, late Tan Sri Azizan Zainul Abidin indirectly mirrored the objective
Petronas ("Petroleum National Bhd. " was established back in 1974, with its headquarters locates at Tower One, it is also Malaysia's National petroleum corporation. Since its incorporation , the Company has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in 35 countries. As at end of March 2004, the PETRONAS Group comprised 93 wholly-owned subsidiaries, 19 partly-owned outfits and 55 associated companies. Primarily business strategic activities involved a wide spectrum of upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment. Today, Petronas has evolved into a turnover of $25.7 billion with a pretax profit of $9.9 billion for the financial year ended on March 31, 2004 - and it was one of the respectful top Fortune 500 company. Four of its subsidiaries are listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange (renamed as Bursa Saham Malaysia in 2005).
<<< ---- The Petronas-sponsored Sauber Team in Formula One Racing (alternate web site) has entered its 10th year partnership. As part of a series of celebrities during the opening of Petronas Towers in 1999, the Sauber Team sent their F-1 crew for a public appearance near the KLCC. Credit: Photo Editor, Vincent Thian, AP (Associated Press). Note: Please don't sent comment on the two sites I linked for your all as both Sauber site listed above are not our works. But MIR did the hugely popular official Malaysian F-1 site for the first 3 years (along with the Malaysian Grand Prix (World Motorcycle Championship).Another Sad state of business life, huh ? ...
The design of the Petronas Twin Towers adopted on Islamic geometric forms and traditions. From an bird eye's view, the two interlocked squares creates an eight-pointed star and superimposing 8 circular arcs in inner angles of the star, hence, creating a 16-branched form. In each of the 16 inner angles are smaller curved column covers expressing the main structural columns of the building. Another unusual practice for the construction of the two towers was, there were actually two main contracting consortiums being awarded the primary Tower One & Tower Two contracts. The Tower One where Petronas current headquarters situates was handled by Japanese-led Hazama Corp. along with others such as US-based J.A. Jones Construction Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp. Japan, local participating firms consists of MMC Engineering & Ho Hup Construction (All grouped as "Mayjus Joint Venture"; the Tower Two was constructed by SKJ Consortium which comprised of Korean based Samsung Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. Kuk Dong Engineering & Construction Co Ltd. along with local participation, Syarikat Jasatera and First Nationwide Engineering Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, along with Singapore based Dragages and Bachy-Soletanche . The latter grouping of SKJ Joint Venture was also being awarded the contract for the adjoining KLCC sky bridge between the two towers. Assembly for each tower took about approx. two years and has deployed with such advanced technologies like global positioning satellite to ensure the accuracy of the buildings vertical height. The two towers, if I can recalled has been "moved" approx. a short distance from original planned spot after piling works began (due to stability factor on structural rock formation underground, it involved 32,550-ton concrete foundation for each an took a year to complete just on the foundation). Next, seemingly, the two Japanese and Korean firm also used this rare opportunity to "compete" with each other in speed of delivery - both had their National Flag moving floor after floor to showcase the progress (the more determined Japanese won....). Other technical highlights on its core structure: each tower required approx. 11,000 tons of reinforcement, 2,825,120 sq./ft. of very high-strength concrete and roughly 7,500 tons of structural steel beams and trusses. 240-ft pinnacles clad entirely in brushed stainless steel; 830,000 sq./ft. of windows; the incorporation of 76 elevators for guest and/or service use; and sophisticated building security systems that utilize card-access, photo-identification and voice intercom systems.
NOTE: Participating Engineering Films inlcuded: Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, US, and Ranhill Bersekutu Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, structural engineers; Flack + Kurtz, US, and KTA Tenaga Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, MEP engineers. Others: Consultants STUDIOS, US, interior design; Walker Group, CNI, US, retail; Howard Brandston & Partners, US, lighting; Israel Berger & Associates, US, curtain wall; Shen, Milsom & Wilke, Inc, US acoustics; Katz Drago Company, Inc, Canada, vertical transportation; Lerch Bates & Associates, US, exterior maintenance; Techcord Consulting Group, Canda, security; Emery Vincent, Australia, graphics; Rolf Jensen & Associates, US, life safety; Wilbur Smith Associates, Singapore, traffic; Central Parking Systems, US, parking; Ove Arup and Partners, UK, and Arup Jururunding, Malaysia, site and civil engineering; Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin RWDI, Canada, wind-tunnel testing. Source of rerefrence: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2004
With a stroke of luck, the marketing brochure the Condo where currently I am staying (Kia Peng Area) shown with this artist impression of the entire perspective of the proposed KLCC area (during the mid-9-) may look like after the completion of the development project. It serves as a reference how noninvolved town planning in visualizing the eventual landscape of the new city centre of Kuala Lumpur.
The Twin Towers took approx. 6 years to complete. Amidst the Asian Economic Crises which spread across all major Asian developing Nations, the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir officiated opening this new KL landmark during Malaysia’s 42nd National Day celebration on Aug. 31, 1999. Although the entire project was located differently from another Malaysia's conceptual national project of Multimedia Super Corridor ("MSC"), KLCC/Petronas Twin Towers has also been designated as alternate location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Today, tenants comprised of large multi-international corporations who chooses to relocate their regional offices or representing offices here at the Petronas Tower Two. Some prominent corporate names such as Bloomberg Asia, Microsoft Malaysia, Reuters Asia, Shell Global exploration, The Boeing Company, G.E., US, PCCB, TATA, UBS, Veritas, Asia Telecom, Baclays Capital, Conoco Philips, IBM, Hua Wei Technologies, Foundation for the Future, Keppel, Lucent Technologies, Mc Kinsey, Mitsubishi Japan etc..filled up the long list of its tenant directory at the entrance. .I was quite surprise the Khazanah National Berhad was here too. Further, KLCC properties management companies are mostly situated here (as well as their IT/Web company, IPerintis Sdn. Bhd.).
The sequence of events in the course of development for this state of the art modern urban living mega project can be roughly outlined as followed: Commissioned of Projects: December 1991; designing: January 1992—June 1994; Construction Stage:- April 1993—August 1999 and Occupation by tenants: January 1998—August 1999.Built-up area: approx. 218,000 m2 each tower - 994,000 m2 total Petronas complex
Officially, the first batch of tenants that moved into the Petronas Twin Towers back in March, 1998 was Petronas own staffs force (mainly comprised of their Central Admin, IMS (Management Information System) and of cause, the property management team. Actually, during this stage, the Shopping Mall, Suria KLCC was not even ready yet - where during an official visit by the Dr. Mahathir led Cabinet Ministers that the main contract of building the Suria KLCC was awarded to a local firm (I think it was Ahmad Zaki Sdn Bhd - now a "Berhad" Company (PLC).
Credit: -Part of the info used here was extracted from Press Release by Laticrete International, Inc., one of the main contractor in supplying ceramic tile and stone installation systems.
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ANYONE still keep OLD, historical pictures/photos of the Selangor Turf Club or images of KLCC during construction stage ? | contact |
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Although I am seasoned enough to digest wrong doing on a common public network such as the Internet, but it is advisable to cultivate some good culture in respecting visual property of the others and, in the case - may involve works of contributing/guest photographers who may choose to participate in this KLCC showcase.