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NOTE: The Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from April 15th, 1996 until October 17th, 2003 when Taipei 101 (Financial Center) was topped out at 508m (1676ft).
The 2nd tallest buildings in the world - Acknowledged by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
The 88-storey PETRONAS Twin Towers, developed as an integral part of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) project, house PETRONAS' new corporate headquarters. The PETRONAS Twin Towers rise like sentinels in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Costing a whopping US$1.2bn and uniquely designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates, it rises to 1,483ft (451.9m) in height and is all of 33ft higher than the Sears Tower. Cesar Pelli, former dean of Yale University's School of Architecture, also designed Canary Wharf in London, and the World Financial Center in Manhattan, New York City.
Completed in 1997, the Twin Towers are a striking glass-and-steel combination with floor plans based on an eight-pointed star. The Towers were designed to symbolize strength and grace using geometric principles typified in Islamic architecture. The towers are also joined at the 41st and 42nd floors (175m above street level) by a 192ft-long (58.4m) double-decker skybridge - linking the two sky lobbies and facilitating the movement between the two towers. Inside the 6-storey tower retail podium, music lovers will have access to an 864-seat concert hall (the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas - a venue of architectural and acoustic distinction), an interactive petroleum discovery center (PETROSAINS) will be made ready for science buffs and an art gallery.
The Towers were topped-out in March 1996 and occupation began in early 1997. Tower One is currently being occupied by PETRONAS, the state-owned petroleum corporation. Tower Two is being occupied by PETRONAS' associate companies while the remaining space is being leased out to multinationals.
42nd MERDEKA DAY / INDEPENDENCE DAY
AUGUST 31st, 1999
The world's tallest building came alive when it was presented to the world amidst a display of scintillating fireworks and a spectacular light and sound show in an opening ceremony that was filled with pomp and splendor.
Situated in a prime location in the capital, the gleaming 420m Petronas Twin Towers, a symbol of the nation's soaring success, exemplified Malaysia's sky-high ambitions towards the new millennium.
Straining their necks to look upwards, thousands of Malaysians gathered in front of the 88-storey monumental towers as laser beams shone high into the sky to illuminate the country's coming-of-age.
The laminated blue glass paneled windows of the awe-inspiring towers shone as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad officially opened the latest Malaysian physical and economic landmark.
Malaysians from all walks of life witnessed the historic occasion held on the last National Day of the century that symbolized how far the country had come from a country of padi fields and tin mines to one on the verge of industrialization.
The five-minute light and sound display entitled "A Vision Realized" traced the efforts of the nation in realizing many of the projects that have become the nation's pride.
The steel and glass architectural marvel that gained international fame through a recent Hollywood movie, "Entrapment", starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, was also a symbol of the country's ability.
Thousands began lining Jalan Ampang and Jalan P. Ramlee from as early as 7pm.
Following the prime minister's address, a poem entitled "Disisi Menara", written specially for the occasion by poet laureate A. Samad Said was read out by Petronas staff Abdullah Ahmad.
The poem touched on where "a thousand race horses once spurred, forest winds once rustled, now stands sublime the nation's summit, the twin towers, blossoms of the sky."
The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra then presented their first ever outdoor performance with patriotic songs.
After the gala of poetry, music and a "tarian lilin" dance by children, Dr Mahathir planted a torch to complete a specially designed light sculpture in a simple display which belied the country's towering goals.
The light sculpture based on an interlocking handshake denoted unity, with three linear fins representing the major races of the country--the Malays, Chinese and Indians.
Dr Mahathir signed the plaque and his signature was beamed into a skybridge screen.
The more than 1,000 foreign and local guests and other Malaysians in the vicinity were then treated to the six-minute light and sound show on the two towers and the sky-screen.