There had been news I have heard around a year ago that PNB had bought a large piece of land nearby the Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara for a mega-scale development projects. Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) needs a new office building to replace its old one at Jalan Tun Razak, while also giving opportunity for others to invest and work together into this giant project. The whole development is estimated to cost around RM 5 billion, while the tower itself costs around 2.5 to 3 billion already.
Now, the project is confirmed and recently, this is included in the Budget 2011 speech by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that receives many compliments as well as objections, especially from opposition parties that worries the unnecessity of such tall building in Kuala Lumpur anymore. and the negative effects from it such as massive traffic jams would occured at the area full of schools and stadiums. The Prime Minister stood and voice out the benefits from this project that would symbolise Malaysia as a developed nation.
(The site for Warisan Merdeka Tower, very near to my former secondary school, Methodist Boys Secondary School Kuala Lumpur)
So, PNB is planning to build a 100-storeys tower just right beside the historical Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara. It seems weird that a sudden supertall building rises up from that area which is mainly flat and plain. It would look awkward and definitely does not fit that place, as well as does not fit the overall skyline of KL. KL skyline is already beautiful with KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers, but with addition of this one at the old town area of KL, the placement seems to be wrong that would definitely affects the skyline badly.
Actually, around ten years ago, there is another mega-scale project designed by Hijjaz Kasturi and Associates to build a 80-storeys tower called Plaza Rakyat (People’s Square), that would be around the height similar to Empire State Building (around 380m) which is quite tall enough. However, due to financial problems, the construction is abandoned and the site is now awaiting for new developer to take over, which until now, no good news have been heard about it. The site is just very near to this Warisan Merdeka site. If both projects goes on at this time, then it would be cool, that two supertalls are going up nearby at same time.
(Abandoned mega project of Plaza Rakyat besides PuduRaya)
Wait a minute, where is the design of Warisan Merdeka Tower? Has it been released to the public yet? I just browsed through the internet and I found out a design for it, probably the selected one after some internal decisions. Honestly, I do not particularly like this design. It is just a typical office building design with no distinctive outlook like Petronas Twin Towers, and it has a weird pop – out roof structure. What is going on there? Hopefully the design would change, and would be better that can symbolise Malaysia as a developed and modern nation with progressive people.
(Probable design for Warisan Merdeka Tower found from internet, not confirmed yet)
I checked out the news that PNB is currently finalizing its design and many details. It is a 10-years project, which means the whole development would be completed on the right time by 2020 to mark Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) to put Malaysia as a developed country in the world. The 100-storeys tower would be completed earlier, the fastest is by 2015 as the construction would begins by 2011. The height is estimated to be around 525m to 550m, taller than Taipei 101 (508m), the current second tallest building behind the unbeatable Burj Khalifa (828m). By the time of its completion, the tower would be among the top 5 or top 10. (other buildings would be Burj Khalifa (2009) , Pingan International Finance Center (2015), Shanghai Center (2014), Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel (2011), One World Trade Center (2013). Now, I’m wondering can the tower be so fast completed in just four to five years? Construction breakthrough, probably…
Now, I need to know more details of the finalized design with the meanings behind it? Why not create an international design competition for it and invites famous architects to join like Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, I.M.Pei, Kohn Pederson Fox, Skidmore, Owings and Merill, etc? Then it would be interesting. This building would definitely impacts the whole skyline of KL which currently ranked number 8 in the world (good ranking), hence need to be properly considered in every aspects. It would also steal the show by Petronas Twin Towers which had been stand proudly for over 12 years.