Petronas Twin Towers

Design & Structures

World's Tallest Twin Building

The twin towers was originally proposed to be built at a height of 1400 feet (427m). However, Dr Mahathir foresaw the potential of the building to become the world's tallest, and pushed for few more meters in every way possible. In order to achieve this, many structural facts were recalculated and retested in wind tunnels. Ultimately, it is decided then to add a small dome with an integrated pinnacle atop of the towers, instead of more floors. At the end, the towers successfully reaching 1483 feet (452m), surpassing the Sears Tower.


Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur


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The interior motifs are a resemblance of local handicrafts and weaving patterns, with the stunning combination of stainless steel and glass to form beatiful Islamic patterns. The design of each tower's floor plate is based on simple Islamic geometric forms of two interlocking squares, creating a shape of eight-pointed stars. Architecturally, these forms represent important Islamic principles of unity, harmony, stability and rationality.

Islamic Patterns ; Rub El Hizb

The towers were designed by Argentine architect César Pelli. The first design was not to Prime Minister Mahathir's satisfaction, as he felt it was not Malaysian enough. He wanted a building that would be identifiably Malaysian that was of world class standard, and which Malaysians could be proud of. At first Pelli struggled to understand what it meant to be “uniquely Malaysian”. Eventually Mahathir Mohamad understood what he wanted the towers to look like: an eight-pointed star (when seen from the top), which in Islamic culture represents unity, harmony, stability, and rationality

One concern Pelli have for the new design is its possibly limited floor space. To solve this problem, he adds semicircles to each of the inner angles. Each tower would now have 43,600 square yards (36,455 m2) of floor space, including an additional circular annex referred to as ‘bustle’, standing 44 stories high.


The towers are 'intelligent' structures, built with a system that seamlessly coordinates telecommunications, environment control, power supply, lighting, fire and smoke control, and building security.


88-storey with 5 underground levels for car park and mechanical services

452 Meters

452 meters tall to tip which equivalent to 1,483 feet

600k Tonnes

Each towers weigh 300,000 tonnes which equivalent to 42,857 elephants

395,000 sqm

395,000 sq m build-up area, with 213, 750 sq m free space for use and 186,000 sq m annexes


The construction of PETRONAS Twin Towers took 6 years and a fortune of over 6 billion Ringgit Malaysia (USD 1.6 billion) to complete. Built with 899000 square feet of stainless-steel extrusions, the building was surprisingly void of heat and UV rays, thanks to the addition of 590000 square feet of lamination glass into the building structure. With such heavy encasing to the building, it is no wonder that it has the tremendous body it is now, that would require 2 months just to clean each and every single glass panel!

6 Years

Took 6 years of constrution from foundation until opening

USD 1.6 billion

Total of 1.6 billion USD spent to build both towers

World's Largest Foundation

Skyscrapers has deep foundations, but PETRONAS Twin Towers has it deeper, no, the deepest given how tall it is! The twin towers have a ground-breaking 120 meters (approx. 400 ft.) of foundation underneath its dense concrete footings.

12 Months

Foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche

120 Meters

120 m (400 ft) deep under the ground


PETRONAS Twin Towers house 29 double-decker high-speed passenger lifts, six heavy-duty service lifts and four executive lifts. Each passenger deck can carry 26 people or 52 in total, while the executive lifts can carry an average of 10. Its speed is between 3.5m/s and 6.0 m/s, depending on the zones they are servicing.


Each Tower is set back five times in its ascent to maintain the vertical axis and tapering of the design. The walls of the uppermost floors are also sloped inward to taper and meet the pinnacle. Vision Glass, specialised panels with light filtering and noise reduction properties, provide a comfortable inner environment. The glass is covered by stainless steel visors to further protect visitors from the tropical sun.


Designs and patterns of the entrance halls' foyer reflect traditional handicrafts and 'songket', or weaving. In addition, the wall panels and screens are also inspired by hardwood carvings from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The floor designs are based on intricate patterns of pandan weaving and bertam palm wall matting.


These structures house the aircraft warning lights and external maintenance building equipment. Each pinnacle features a spire with 23 segments, and a ring ball comprised of 14 rings of varying diameters.

Observation Deck

The observation deck in Petronas Twin Towers located at the Level 86 allows you to enjoy the intimate view of the spectacular cityscape from above 370 meters. Not just closeups, you also get to know more about the history of the twin towers, through digital displays and exhibition there.

86th Floor

Located on 86th floor, the second highest level of the twin towers.

370 Meters

Superior bird’s-eye view from 370 meters above the ground.

Sky Bridge

The 750 tons double-decker skybridge acts as the connector between the two towers on its 41st and 42nd floor. However, the skybridge is not fully attached to the main building, which allows itself to sliding in and out of the building. Such mechanism provides support to the structure of the tower during high winds and other unpleasant weathers, simultaneously prevent itself breaking from the towers. The bridge is 170 m (558 ft) above the ground and 58.4 m (192 ft) long.

58.4 Meters

58.4 m (192 ft) long

170 Meters

170 m (558 ft) high above the ground