1999: The Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Innovation: High strength concrete
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
By: Cesar Pelli, Thornton Tomasetti
The Petronas Towers designed by Cesar Pelli and Thornton Tomasetti are located in Kuala Lumpur and were the tallest buildings until 2004. These towers are a significant achievement because of the delicate concrete work that was done in this project. This was such an ambitious project that one separate construction company was needed for each tower; Samsung C&T for tower 1 and Hazama Corporation for tower2. Concrete was selected as the main component for the buildings because of huge cost of importing steel to Kuala Lumpur. The high strength reinforced concrete that was used is twice as effective as steel for sway reduction, a necessity for an area with high seismic activity, but caused the structure to weigh twice as much. Many records were broken during the construction during the construction such as the 54 hour concrete pour for each tower’s foundation and the need to have three separate concrete plants on site for adequate supply and quality control. The use of concrete also allowed for big open spaces within the building. The Petronas Towers have a central concrete core and the rest of the structure revolves around it. Without steel beams in the way, the spaces can be rearranged and rooms added and removed at will to create dynamic spaces for living and work.