With the aid of their spires, the Petronas Towers rise 1,483 feet ( 451.9 meters) into the heavens over Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur (KL). For six years, they held the title of being the tallest buildings in the world, until they were surpassed by Taipei 101. Today, they are still the world’s tallest twin towers; they have 88 floors.
The towers’ glass and steel façade’s design incorporates Islamic art motifs, reflecting Malaysia’s Muslim religion. Their skywalk is a dramatic element. Of it, architect César Pelli said:
“According to Lao Tse, the reality of a hollow object is in the void and not in the walls that define it. He was speaking, of course, of spiritual realities. These are the realities also of the Petronas Towers. The power of the void is increased and made more explicit by the pedestrian bridge that … with its supporting structure creates a portal to the sky … a door to the infinite.”
Whether seen towering over KL’s skyline by day or twinkling brilliantly at night, the structures are sleek and elegant. Alas, they were closed for renovation during our visit to KL. We hope to return someday to see what must be a marvelous view of the city. We won’t, however, be taking the same route favored by a French daredevil climber, who, on several occasions, has been arrested ascending the towers using only his bare hands and feet!