The twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia held the title of the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004. At 1483ft and 88 floors, they surpassed the roof height of the Sears Tower by 33ft with their architectural spires.
Designed by architect César Pelli, the project brief asked for a set of towers that would identify them as unique to Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. Their shape is decidedly different from the prior super tall buildings found in the western world.
The cross sectional plan is inspired by interlocking squares (Rub el Hizb) with semicircular arcs about their shared vertices - creating a sixteen lobed form. My model follows this basic concept, but I did deviate some and take a few design liberties out of necessity.
An overview of the model which includes the twin towers, the Dewan Filharmonik Concert Hall nestled between them, and the Suria Kuala Lumpur City Centre shopping center. The open areas on either side of the mall are occupied by two other smaller skyscrapers that are not part of the Petronas complex. I chose to omit them. The model is 27.5 inches tall (0.7m) and sits on a 60x60 stud base.
The towers are symmetric about their own vertical axis and also posses an additional axis of symmetry centered between themselves. The space between the two forms gives a recognizable silhouette that is as important in uniting the buildings as a single composition. This arrangement is in contrast to those found in International Modernism, where pairs of building were often constructed to different heights or placed diagonally offset as separate abstract sculptural objects. César Pelli took inspiration from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tse who emphasized “The reality of the vase is not in its clay walls but in the space between them.” The skybridge frames such a symbolic space – a 40 story tall open portal to the sky.
The towers are connected by a 190ft long skybridge at the 41st and 42nd floors. The actual skybridge is not rigidly connected to the towers, but sits on a central support truss. This allows the towers to move in the wind relative to each other without overstressing the bridge.
My favorite feature is the model's skybridge. I built it as a simply supported slip joint - and it works much like it does on the real building. I can gently push the towers around in different directions and bridge will not fall apart.
The towers are constructed of reinforced concrete as Malaysia lacks an indigenous steel industry and importing the vast quantities required would have been prohibitively expensive. Each tower was constructed by a different company. There was a friendly competition between the teams to see which building would top out first. Tower 2, built by Samsung, won. The two circular 44 story auxiliary towers provide additional floor space.
The roof of the Suria Kuala Lumpur City Centre shopping mall is decorated with Islamic art forms which emphasizes intricate designs emerging from simple shapes and forms. While not reproduced precisely, I tried to capture the overall spirit and colors. In later years solar panels were added to the roof as part of a green initiative. This unfortunately covered up the colorful forms.
i didn't realize that you hadn't done this one yet. The KLCC, as they call it in Malaysia, is one of your most astounding works to date. I went up to the sky-bridge several years back, and was disappointed they didn't have an observation deck atop one of the towers as the view was only a 40-story view, but it was especially nice to be able to see the shiny stainless steel cladding that surrounds this super shiny building. Your attention to the podium is one of the things that makes your super-tall skyscrapers so enjoyable, as the scale of the items in the podium and surrounding areas really convey the sense of the true height of these buildings. As I recall, there is a Toys R Us in the basement shopping mall and inside that Toys R Us (maybe it was some other toy store) they had a 6-7 ft tall Petronas Towers Lego model. Yours though looks better and the design is more ingenious. Great building as usual! But what's the inside look like? Would you be willing to pull back the curtain this time for us?
PS: my favorite picture is the one that shows the front view: http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=385136&id=/user_images/33/13964060645
Great work on this one. Totaly Spencer-Style. Do you have plans for the Burj Khalifa in the same scale? Would be quite a sight. Or do you have it already? I Do not see it here on MOCpages. Anyways, looking forward to your next model.
Wow, that's like a piece of artwork. It looks so much like the original, it's incredible that you did THAT with Lego! It's amazing how you even got this close to the original square section. Great job! :-))