Petronas Towers: the architecture of high construction

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Wiley-Academy, Mar 14, 2001 - Architecture - 128 pages
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In a world with Jumbo jets, microchips and artifical hearts, architecture had appeared to have lost its wonder, but with the building of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, now the tallest buildings on earth, this has changed and their construction has rightly restored architecture as a world wonder. It is not just because the towers are the tallest that they can make this claim. Their design by Cesar Pelli also reflects a melding of East and West. The towers embody the great spirit born of the American mid-West and now found all over the world. They also reflect the latest technology in making tall buildings, with modern materials such as stainless steel cladding which makes their spires glisten on the horizon. The design of the Petronas Towers began with an international design competition. In June 1991, eight firms were invited to participate. The architects were asked to providee a general plan for the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and a more detailed design for two towers to be occupied by Petronas, the national petroleum company of Malaysia. The Petronas Towers were expected to define a gateway, "a place that people can identify as unique to Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia." It was never discussed that the towers should become the tallest buildings in the world, only that they be beautiful.

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Restoring Architectures Wonder
Petronas Towers
Site and Design

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About the author (2001)

CESAR PELLI was born in 1926 in Tucuman, Argentina. In 1977 he became Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University and established his architectural firm, Cesar Pelli Associates, in New Haven, Connecticut. He was nominated by AIA in 1991 as one of the ten most influential living American architects, and has received over 100 awards for design excellence. He is the only architect to have been given a Connecticut State Arts Award, and his importance has been further recognised by the AIA with the award of the Gold Medal in 1995 and the Firm Award for Cesar Pelli Associates in 1989. His work has been widely published and exhibited, with eight books dedicated to his designs and theories.
MICHAEL J. CROSBIE is a practising architect currently with Steven Winter Associates, an architectural research and consulting firm in Norwalk, Connecticut, and is also the author of numerous books on architecture. A former editor of Progressive Architecture, he has contributed to a number of journals and magazines, including Domus, Architectural Record, Faith Form, and Landscape Architecture. He teaches architecture at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island and has lectured at architecture schools in North America and abroad.