My admirable building of choice is the third tallest building in the world. It consists of two buildings connected by a skybridge that is located 170 meters above the ground and sits in the heart of the center of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is an office building, with a base containing one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia. The admirable building of my choice is the PETRONAS Towers.
One of the first facets that I found most interesting was the symmetry portrayed by the two towers. The towers were built by the Argentinian-American architect Cesar Pelli. Pelli used a simple Islamic geometric form of two interlocking squares creating a shape of eight-pointed stars for the floor template. Upon the eight-pointed stars, are eight superimposed semi-circles softening the inner angles and creating a very unique, unseen shape that is pleasing to the eye. Another aspect of the building that caught my eye was the curtain walls of glass that surround each and every side of both towers. This allows great amounts of natural light into the building, yet there are stainless steel sun shades to diffuse the intense light at times. The choice of stainless steel not only reflects the hi-tech industrial ideal of Malaysia, but also the luster of the tropical sun.
The exterior of the building may look like steel at first glance but it actually is built with high-strength concrete, that is known to be twice as effective as steel in sway reduction, a very important factor when dealing with a 88 story building. Another clever exterior feature is the outer ring of super columns that surround the towers and provide for a very stable structural system. Also, having super columns means there is no need for other columns throughout the towers, providing 14,000 to 22,000 square feet of column-free office space per floor.
Atop both towers stand two 73.5 meter tall pinnacles, a spire, mast ball, and ring ball. These pinnacles play an important role in both the aesthetics and...