Walkabout around KLCC for a good look on skyscrapers.


Today, I was free and I decided to go for a walk around Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) region to gaze on the many tall buildings clustered in that area. I think I’m the only one that would purposely do this due to my strong interest on skyscrapers. This particular stretch of place where I took photographs of buildings is somewhere in between Jalan Tun Razak intersection and Petronas Twin Towers. It’s a gloomy day and I managed to take these images before the heavy downpour in the afternoon just now.

Ilham Baru Tower – under construction (topped out), height about 270-300 metres tall, among tallest in the city, looks a bit like Hong Kong’s Bank of China Tower with the zig-zag pattern, I like the shading devices (can see in the pictures below) of which from a bit further away, you will not see the shading devices. They blend in to the glass cladding of the whole structure.

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Troika Towers – 3 towers of residences by famous architect, Norman Foster, the tallest residential building in Malaysia at over 200 metres for the highest tower, I like the distinctive and sculptural appeal of the design.

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View of iconic buildings from left to right: KL Tower (telecommunication and sightseeing tower of 421 metres high), Petronas Tower 3 (above 260 metres high), and Petronas Twin Towers (world’s tallest twin buildings at 452 metres).

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Naza Tower – under construction (topped out, spire still not installed), a height of over 270 metres including spire, like the smoothness of the facade.

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Felda Tower with the already mentioned Naza Tower at the back. Felda Tower – over 210 metres tall, the roof ‘capping’ is ‘light’ and interesting, the cut-in portion that runs all the way to the top also looks good.

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The tower’s base has a green wall feature. Wonderful.

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The Oval – twin tower of residences, all glass around.

 

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The Intermark – previously named Empire Tower, over 230 metres tall, I like the slim design of the building which is already there over 20 years ago.

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A bunch of shorter buildings (residential) nearby.

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From left to right: Le Nouvel Towers and K Residences, both are over 200 metres tall and are right besides the Petronas Twin Towers.

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Le Nouvel – under construction (topped out), designed by famous architect Jean Nouvel, looks interesting with the hanging planter boxes (some already with plants as can be seen below) that realizes the ‘vertical garden’ concept, there is also a skybridge!

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Front, you will see the under-construction Four Seasons Place – expected to be over 340 metres high and be the third tallest in Malaysia once completed.

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View of the city from KLCC Park. Seen at the back is the under-construction Banyan Tree Signatures which is expected to reach height of about 240m when completed.

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You can see Ilham Baru Tower, Troika Towers, Citibank Tower, Felda Tower, The Oval, PNB Building, Naza Tower and Binjai Residences in the picture below.

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This collection of photos would not be complete with some shots of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Also visible in the image below is KL Tower.

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From left to right: Petronas Tower 3, Petronas Twin Towers, Maxis Tower, Le Nouvel, K Residences. Would not be bored after looking at these pictures for hundreds of time.

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Just about a decade ago, this adjacent area nearby to the twin towers is quite empty with only few highrises scattered around many low-rise buildings (many are decades old). Fortunately, the growth of the city is quite steady over the years and we observed more new towering buildings being constructed in this region (many are even over 200m tall respectively). The density of buildings in this area kept on increasing and it’s good to enhance the overall city skyline of Kuala Lumpur to be one of the best in the world.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images above which were taken by me in early August 2015. Kindly ask for permission if you want to use any of the images in this post)

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The Potential Impacts of Tall Buildings


Tall buildings are always a great sight for me. I love to see skyscrapers and do many research on them, either from books or from the internet mostly. This particular interest started about a decade ago, and it encourages me further to pursue my future in architecture. And since I live in Kuala Lumpur, a concrete jungle, I’m never tired of looking at the tall buildings in the city, particularly the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. And when I had the chance to visit other cities across the world in the past, there is no way I would miss out from their skyscrapers like the ones that I have checked out myself or even visited like Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa, Hong Kong’s 2IFC, London’s The Shard, etc. skyscrapers-looking-up-sunny-flickr (Image source: http://i.bnet.com/blogs)

Many cities now love to construct tall buildings because tall buildings save space, covers less area in urban area usually troubled with limited space, creates iconic visual to the city’s skyline, and is a symbol of the city’s strength and growth. Tall buildings do come with many positive impacts, but they can also bring out the negative ones. Hence, no matter how good the idea of building tall is, a proper planning, design and consideration are still required. Recently, I have gone through a book entitled ‘Planning for Tall Buildings’ by Michael J. Short, and there is a sub-topic inside that I’m particularly interested; ‘The Potential Impacts of Tall Buildings’. I read it, and I found it interesting to be shared in my blog here.

Since I’m lazy to type out the whole content here, I’m just going to follow the current trend of taking snapshots of the pages of the article and put it here below. If you are interested in it, you can click on each images below for a bigger version so that you can read it comfortably. It’s a good article that studies and further analyses the good and the bad of which tall buildings can contribute in 8 different categories, namely;

a) Context / Topography.

b) Historic Environment.

c) Local Environment.

d) Relationship to Transport.

e) Permeability.

f) Architectural Quality.

g) Contributions / Opportunities.

h) Sustainability. IMG_2551 IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2554 It’s not a lengthy article and so I managed to finish it (I mean not the whole book) in a short while. I think this article is useful to architects (to me too as an architect-to-be) as we have to consider many elements before designing a tall building so that it will gives more pros than cons to its site and the surrounding. We don’t just simply design tall buildings for the ‘wow’ factor, but also to design in relation to everything that matters as highlighted in the article above.

(Source: ‘Planning for Tall Buildings’ by Michael J. Short – Routledge 2012)

Starting to see new skyscrapers dominating Kuala Lumpur’s skyline besides than the iconic Petronas Twin Towers


Now, in Kuala Lumpur city, Petronas Twin Towers are not alone in dominating the city’s impressive skyline with the telecommunication tower called KL Tower. There are several other tall buildings built in the city which easily exceeded 200 metres and are already capable of going high in the sky of KL. Recently, there are few more notable highrise buildings which some have been completed not long ago, some topped out and some still under-construction in the city.

The most notable one, which is the tallest construction project at the moment in the city is the Charigali Headquarters Tower. The building, designed by Cesar Pelli Architects, has 60 floors and reaches 267 m in height. It sat over a plot named Lot C of KLCC right besides the Petronas Twin Towers. Forget about Warisan Merdeka (over 500m) and Four Seasons development (almost 300m). There are no progress on these two projects. So, Charigali Tower which is better known as Petronas Tower 3 had finally topped out, being a taller companion than Maxis Tower (212m) to the Petronas Twin Towers, the world current tallest twin buildings. Too bad, the Charigali Tower is not lighted up yet. (Picture below showing Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Charigali Tower, Petronas Twin Towers, Maxis Tower and K Residence Tower from left to right…the picture is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=168729&page=84).

Another ‘dark’ picture of Charigali Tower below which is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=168729&page=86)

Another beautiful picture of Charigali Tower at the left side, complementing well to Petronas Twin Towers, together with Maxis Tower at the right,…picture is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=168729&page=86)

Charigali Tower is now the most obvious new skyscraper added to the city’s skyline, due to its impressive height and near distance to Petronas Twin Towers. Another tall building steals the limelight; Felda Tower. It is part of a development by TTDI which consists of few highrise buildings. Felda Tower which is a 206m, 50-storeys tall office building had also topped out recently. Another skyscraper under the same development, is called Naza Tower, a 50-storeys building which would be the tallest in the development that would reach over 272 metres. However, Naza Tower is still at its middle phase of construction, and it won’t be capturing the skyline of the city any soon.

(Picture above shows the topped-out Felda Tower, picture is from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=597663&page=18)

Another construction project that caught my attention and interest is the Ilham Baru Tower. It is designed by Norman Foster, a famous architect who designed also the Troika Tower, the current tallest residential building in Malaysia. This Ilham Baru Tower would reach a height of 298 metres with 62 floors. I like the design of this tower, from its futuristic-looking form and the striking clean facade. This would surely be one of the most beautiful skyscrapers once completed, not only in Malaysia, but also in the world. Both pictures below are from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1119813&page=3, with the first showing a computer rendering of Ilham Baru Tower at the right, and the second one showing the current state of the project.

I have also discovered several other construction projects in which the buildings are going to reach well over 200 metres respectively. Well, if everything goes as planned, then after few more years, Kuala Lumpur would be much denser with tall buildings. Previously, I remember that KL is being known as a city that allows its tall buildings to stand out as it is not a very dense city. Now, that statement has to change. For instance, even the Troika Tower which reaches over 204 metres in height hardly stands out among the other buildings because that area is full of other highrises as well, eventhough the others are shorter. A beautiful picture of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline from skyscrapercity form also (I forgot the link) to end the post.

20 Interesting Facts on Supertall Skyscrapers


1. “Skyscraper” originally was a nautical term referring to a small triangular sail set above the skysail on a sailing ship. It is first applied to buildings of steel frame construction in late 19th century where building highrises began.

2. Supertall skyscraper is defined as a functional and habitable building with height over 300 m, as the number of buildings exceeding such height is considered very low around the world. The change to the height from 300 m to a number much higher (like 400 m) to be placed in ‘supertall’ category would be suggested in near future when more and more supertall skyscrapers are being built.

3. Burj Khalifa which is the current world tallest completed building stands at a height of 828m, which is almost double of the minimum height for a specific building to be placed into top 10 world tallest buildings’ list. (current 10th place goes to Trump International Hotel and Tower at a height of 423m)

4. Despite Burj Khalifa is the tallest building, Shanghai World Financial Center still hold the record of world tallest observation deck at a height of over 470m at 100th floor. Burj Khalifa just took the title of world tallest OUTDOOR observation deck at a height of 452m at 124th floor.

5. Petronas Twin Towers at the height of 452m are still the current world tallest twin buildings despite losing the title of world’s tallest building over 8 years ago to Taipei 101.

6. Taipei 101 stands at a height of 508m, is the first building in the world to reach over 500m, half a kilometre mark, which also becomes the world tallest building from 2003 till 2009, being overtaken by Burj Khalifa.

7. Ten years ago, there are only 4 buildings in the world that measure over 400m. Currently, including the topped out buildings, there is a total of 12 buildings exceeding that height. So, probably ten years later, the number could easily be over 30.

8. Empire State Building took only 410 days (less than 14 months) to build, back over 80 years ago, in 1930s as the world tallest building at a height of 381m. That is the fastest record of construction for a building with such a height and in that particular time when technology and height are the major resistances.

9. Ten years ago, there are only 26 skyscrapers known to be supertall (exceeding 300m). Now, the number is even more than double; 54 with mainly new buildings coming up from Asia (China and Dubai particularly). ‘Rise of the East’.

10. There are only 4 cities in the world with more than 5 buildings exceeding 300m (supertall skyscrapers). The cities are Dubai, Hong Kong, Chicago and New York City.

11. Dubai, United Arab Emirates is currently the city with the most supertall skyscrapers with minimum of 10 buildings in the category. The record would be remained for a long time due to rapid construction activities in Dubai.

12. The first building in history that exceeds 300m (to be called as supertall skyscraper) is Chrysler Building which stands at a height of 319m and is built in 1930, over 80 years ago.

13. The current world tallest concrete building is Trump International Hotel and Tower at Chicago which stands at a height of 423m including its spire, defeating the previous title holder, CITIC Plaza at Guangzhou which is only at 391m.

14. There are currently less than 10 completed buildings around the world with over 100 floors. (To be exact, only 9).

15. The official list in measuring building’s height is based on the measurement to the highest architectural detail that includes spire but not antenna. This is why Petronas Twin Towers obtained the title of world tallest buildings from Sears Tower (now renamed Willis Tower) back in 1997. Willis Tower at that time is still the tallest to top of roof, tallest to top of antenna, and tallest to highest occupied floor.

16. Burj Khalifa does not only hold the record of world tallest building, but also several many others especially the world tallest man made structure.

17. The Western world had hold the record of world tallest building for over a century (since the introduction of steel frame construction that enable highrises), until it is being taken by Asia beginning 1998, and until 2009 by Middle East.

18. The Shard is currently an under-construction building which will be the tallest in European Union with a height of only 310m, the first one in the region to be called as ‘supertall skyscraper’.

19. There are a total of 7 all-hotel buildings which exceed 300m, of which the top 6 tallest are all in Dubai, with the last one at a height of 304m, located at Bangkok, Thailand called as Baiyoke Tower 2.

20. The first building in history that has over 100 floors is Empire State Building, which has a total of 102 floors, built in 1931.

(All the information above may and will vary/change as time progresses…but as of July 2011, the data is correct).

Insight: The Troika, Kuala Lumpur


The Troika is currently an under-construction highrise residential project consisting of three towers of high class living units. The shorter tower consists of 38 floors (160m) , with another tower of 44 floors (177m) and the highest of 50 floors (204m) – being the tallest residential building of not only the city of Kuala Lumpur but also of the whole country, Malaysia. It is also one of the most expensive or luxurious residences projects of the city due to its close proximity to Kuala Lumpur City Centre where Petronas Twin Towers are located.

The Troika development combines apartments, offices, shops and restaurants within a single complex, with the aim of promoting a more sustainable, densely planned approach to living and working in the twenty-first century city. The twisting geometry of the three towers evolved gradually through detailed modelling analysis, their forms being sculpted to respond to the surrounding buildings and to maximise the dramatic views of the Park, the Petronas Towers and the surrounding city.

The unusual external structure consists of a number of slender concrete sheer walls, which support a series of stacked blocks that are able to rotate subtly to allow the primary living areas and balconies in each of the 230 apartments to focus on the best available view. The arrangement of the sheer walls allows a wide variety of plan sizes, and the internal organisation of the apartments is kept fluid, to facilitate individual planning options. Many areas are self-shaded by the overhang of the apartment above, which provides shelter on the balconies.  Two double-volume glass-encased bridges connecting  the towers at level 24 create a sky lobby with unrivalled views of the fast-changing skyline.

At ground level, a four-storey perimeter commercial building contains offices, shops and cafes and frames a landscaped courtyard. Entirely free from cars, the courtyard forms the heart of the development – a tranquil urban oasis. Residents enter through the courtyard via a grand entrance on Jalan Binjai Road, which leads to lift banks on individual floors that are shared by two apartments each. At roof level, the perimeter building provides a variety of recreational facilities for residents. Linked by shaded arcades, and accessible throughout the day, they add a further level of amenity to high-rise urban living.

From the computer-rendered images showing the buildings before the construction began few years ago, the buildings appear to be very distinctive and stand out among the others, probably due to the perspective for that particular view of the rendering. The buildings’ facades also appear to be very reflective and blue-ish in colour, and turn out to be very transparent and blurring the difference with the sky.

Now, the construction of the buildings almost coming to an end with all the three towers topped out not long ago. The real appearance of the buildings are not very much the same with what we can see from that rendering. The buildings now appear to be very solid and blending it with the surrounding buildings which are very close together and hence, the ‘soaring out’ of the building is not really very great, but still visible from far due to their impressive heights. The buildings now also appear to be in white, grey and black with those glass facades totally against the natural colour of the sky, and so the difference with the sky is very obvious now. How come it is so different from what it looks like in 3D rendering which is much more beautiful. Anyway, the buildings are still impressive and distinctive structures, towering above many other buildings in the city.

Do you know which architectural firm is involved in design of this project? This project is not given to local firm, but instead to a very famous international architectural firm, called as Foster and Partners, which the principal architect is the popular Norman Foster whom had won many architectural prizes including Stirling Prize and Pritzker Prize (architect’s top honour). He is also being recognized as among the most prolific Britain’s architects. That is good that famous architects from all around the world started to bring their masterpieces into built environment of Kuala Lumpur. That is a good start for the architecture of the city, especially in urbanscape.

The Troika would definitely becomes a truly majestic and luxurious place of living in the modern urban environment, looking at its architecture, its location and of course its price….It defeated the previous title holder of Malaysia’s tallest residential building, K Residence by only 2 metres which is also nearby to KLCC. The Troika Tower 3 (204m) is now among the top 10 tallest buildings of Malaysia, offering greater view above many other surrounding structures. The project had won Cityscape Best Developer Award 2008 and CNBC Asia Pacific Property Awards 2008 – 5 Star Best High Rise Residential and 5 Star Best Architecture. Can you spot the towers in the picture below?

The video below shows the virtual tour of the projects but is not original, as it is not narrated. The original version with narration which is much better can be found from its official website: http://www.troika.com.my/. Even the website of the project is just amazing. Wow…wow…wow…I want to live in there, penthouse would be much better…haha…that would costs me over RM 16 million.

References:

http://www.fosterandpartners.com/Projects/1307/Default.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troika_(Kuala_Lumpur)

http://www.troika.com.my/

(All the pictures from this post are not mine and are obtained from world wide web)

Current progress of under-construction famous skyscrapers around the world


Year 2010…many famous skyscrapers are under construction currently, which some of these will make it to the top 10 list of world tallest buildings. With the recent opening of Burj Khalifa as the world tallest building, many people started to have interest on skyscrapers around the world.

Many people have know the famous completed buildings, like Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa (Dubai), Petronas Twin Towers, Empire State Building, Shanghai World Financial Center, etc. However, not many are aware of the skyscrapers that are under construction currently or even skyscrapers that have topped out.

On this post, I will show the progress of these under-construction famous skyscrapers around the world. First picture of each skyscraper showing the final rendering of the building, and the second picture following is the current construction progress:

Shanghai Center/Tower, Shanghai, China – 632m, 128 floors, scheduled for completion in 2014.

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One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower), New York, USA – 541m, 108 floors, scheduled for completion in 2013.

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The Pentominium, Dubai, UAE – 516m, 120 floors, scheduled for completion in 2013.

Abraj al-bait Towers, Mecca, Saudi Arabia – 595m, 76 floors, scheduled for completion in 2011.

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Kingkey Finance Center, Shenzhen, China – 439m, 97 floors, scheduled for completion in 2011.

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Dubai Towers, Doha, Qatar – 437m, 88 floors, scheduled for completion in 2011.

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Al-Hamra Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait – 412m, 77 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010.

Busan Lotte Tower, Busan, South Korea – 510m, 107 floors, scheduled for completion in 2013.

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China 117 Tower, Tianjin, China – 600m, 117 floors, scheduled for completion in 2012. (very slow progress, completion date expected to be delayed for another year probably)

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Federation Tower, Moscow, Russia – 506m to top of spire (on – hold for the spire), both towers’ height (360m, 242m) , height of taller tower reduced, scheduled for completion in 2010.

International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong, China – 490m, 118 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out)

Guangzhou West Tower, Guangzhou, China – 440m, 103 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out)

Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing, China – 450m, 89 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out)

Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea – reconstruction, 330m, 105 floors, scheduled for completion in 2012.

Now, it’s time for remarkable TV towers under construction:

Guangzhou TV Tower, Guangzhou, China – 618m, 37 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out), completed to witness the Guangzhou Asian Games 2010 alongside with Guangzhou West Tower.

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Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo, Japan – 611m, 32 floors, scheduled for completion in 2012.

Too bad, many skyscrapers projects are on-hold currently, especially those famous one like Chicago Spire, Burj al Alam, Moscow Tower, etc.

Chicago Spire, Chicago, USA – 610m, 150 floors, on-hold.

Burj Al Alam, Dubai, UAE – 510m, 108 floors, on-hold.

Moscow Tower, Moscow, Russia – 612m, 120 floors, on-hold.

Nevermind, we will definitely see more and more new projects on skyscrapers released to the media, began construction, topping out, completed, and finally open in near future…

And finally, in honouring the current world tallest building, and world tallest man made structure: This skyscraper is going to be the world tallest for at least a decade.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE – 828m, 168 floors.

Do you enjoy this post? Please comment…not all skyscrapers which are under-construction, on-hold, or proposed are mentioned here…these examples above are just the few famous ones…now you will know that there is actually a lot of constructions going out there…

But where is my country, Malaysia? seeing nothing on future development after completion of current world tallest twin buildings, Petronas Twin Towers back in 1998…haiz…anyway, I heard from news that there are three places chosen in Kuala Lumpur for iconic landmarks to be built on it (proposal in progress), and two of these are over 100 storeys skyscrapers. Wondering whether this is going to be built or not??>..

Race to Get Higher (Skyscrapers) Presentation