The Petronas Towers

Jennifer

Reading — Advanced Level
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The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements. The circular sectors is similar to the bottom part of the Qutub Minar.

The cross section of the Petronas Towers based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors, similar to the bottom part of the Qutub Minar.
The towers were designed by Argentine architect César Pelli. A distinctive postmodern style was chosen to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, 3 years after its construction was started, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 31 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres (197 to 374 ft) deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres (470,000 cu ft) of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres (15 ft) thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes (35,800 tons) and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete.
Source: Wikipedia
  1. Why were the Petronas towers designed like a tube?

  2. What are mostly reflected in the design of the towers?

  3. Which describes a postmodern architecture?

  4. Which word could best mean to start working?

  5. What does rigorous testing mean in the third paragraph?

Discussion

Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below


  1. Have you been to Mlalaysia? If yes, have you been to the Twin Towers?

  2. How long were the towers constructed before they were officially used?

  3. What symbolize the Petronas Towers?

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