Exciting supertall projects to enhance KL’s skyline soon.


The city skyline of Kuala Lumpur has dramatically changed in recent years. More skyscrapers are being built in the city, dwarfing over older buildings and populating remaining low-rise areas in the city. Here below are some of the on-going skyscraper projects in KL along with their latest updates:

The Exchange 106

This 106-storey office tower is currently dominating the city’s skyline although its construction has not completed yet. Some sources revealed that the tower has now reached about 450 metres in height, making it as tall as the city’s current record holder; the 452 metres tall iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The Exchange 106 Tower by Mulia Group is expected to top out and complete next year with projected height of 492 metres. This tower is rising very quickly and it is now starting to work on its upper portion’s central core. The highlight of this design is on its crystalline-like crown. Hence, the tower now looks very massive yet plain (boring glass cladding all over) at this stage.

Four Seasons Place

After experiencing multiple delays and changes of design in the past, the Four Seasons Place has topped out this year and will be completed next year. It now stands tall besides the Petronas Twin Towers at a height of 343 metres (65 floors). It is the second tallest hotel building in the world and also the second tallest building in Malaysia (after the Petronas Twin Towers). Some criticized the building for leaving huge visual impact to the twin towers as the building is only slightly lower and is very close to the twin towers. Well, we have to accept the fact that the twin towers will soon be dwarfed by more taller buildings in the future (they can’t be the tallest in the city forever, right?!). But the twin towers would still remain iconic for the city. The ‘Four Seasons’ logo will be nicer if it is bigger in my opinion.

Merdeka PNB118 Tower

This project receives a lot of criticism earlier due to allocation of national funding for this huge skyscraper that is thought to be much more useful to be spent on other resources, the impact it leaves to its surrounding historical area, and the absence of need for another supertall tower in the city. Anyway, the project is back on its track now after setting aside those criticisms and also after some issues with its structural foundation. It is now set to rise quickly to be the tallest building of the country by 2021 at a height of 630 metres (118 floors).

(Renderings for Merdeka PNB118 Tower)

Oxley Towers and Fairmont Towers

Construction has been slow especially for Fairmont Towers that sit right besides the KLCC Park. The Fairmont development consists of three towers with the tallest one to reach 380 metres in height with 78 floors. They are projected to complete by 2020 but that is highly unlikely looking from its current construction progress. Work is still at the ground level at this stage which is very slow. The same situation goes to the adjacent Oxley Towers development. Once completed, the taller tower in Oxley complex will be 341 metres tall with 79 floors. I estimate their completion would be around 2022 or 2023.

(Oxley Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Fairmont Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Construction site on the left is the Oxley project while the construction site on the right is the Fairmont project. Four Seasons Place is in the middle in this picture above)

Angkasa Raya Tower

This project has been approved years ago but there is no sign of its construction yet in a plot of land adjacent also to the Petronas Twin Towers. I wonder what is the problem that is delaying this project now. Designed by famous architect, Buro Ole Scheeren, the tower has 65 floors and will have a height of 268 metres. Let’s hope that this project with kick-start very soon.

(Images and information in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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Shanghai Tower named CTBUH’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 and won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015


Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China and is currently the second tallest building in the world. Completed in 2015, it is also the tallest building in China, a country that has been actively building supertalls in recent decades. Designed by Gensler Architects, Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and is one of the three supertall buildings in the prime area in Pudong. The other two are the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres high) and Jin Mao Tower (421 metres high).

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Recently, the tower is named Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Besides that, the tower has also won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015. It’s a double joy for the tower. Shanghai Tower has accomplished such level of recognition due to many reasons. Some of them are its elegant spiraling cylindrical form, energy-efficient performance of the building, extraordinary double-skin facade, world’s fastest elevator, etc.

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Shanghai Tower prevailed over other winners in smaller categories in CTBUH Best Tall Buildings selection to take the top prize after winning the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia. Best Tall Building Americas goes to VIA 57 West, Best Tall Building Europe goes to The White Walls and Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa goes to The Cube. As for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, Shanghai Tower topped the list of their 10 finalist selection. The other 9 in order from top to bottom are Evolution Tower in Russia (no.2), II Dritto in Italy (no.3), Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in China (no.4), ABODE 318 in Australia (no.5), Icon Bay in United States of America (no.6), D1 Tower in United Arab Emirates (no.7), 432 Park Avenue in United States of America (no.8), Citygate in Austria (no.9) and ICE II in Canada (no.10).

I would love to visit Shanghai Tower and goes up to its observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and to purchase a replica model of the skyscraper. If you know me well, one of my hobbies is to collect replica models of famous buildings and towers around the world. This hobby is actually very costly, but what can I do since it’s my interest. I have not visited Shanghai before and I am looking forward for a trip to that city in near future. I think I would be very impressed not only by the supertalls in that city, but also by the overall magnificent skyline of the city.

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(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

More updated details for KL118 Tower.


Finally, after months and months of speculation and secrecy surrounding Malaysia’s plan for the next tallest building of the country, more details had been revealed recently from the officiating ceremony. What is the project that I’m talking about? It’s the KL118 development. Now, it is renamed to PNB118 since PNB is the name of the owner’s company for this project. Well, I prefer KL118 more as it has more international appeal than ‘PNB’. Nobody knows (not only foreigners but also locals) what does PNB stands for.

Also known as ‘Warisan Merdeka’ (Heritage Independence), this development is located on a site just adjacent to the historic Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara. It is also located nearby to some very old buildings like Victoria Institution, Methodist Boys School (my former secondary school), Chin Woo Stadium, and Petaling Street (Chinatown). The project has been receiving heavy criticism due to its location on low-lying area which is also full of historical buildings and that this new modern supertall would not fit into this site context. I agreed. This project also receiving strong objection as the money put into this can be more beneficial for other purposes as the city does not need another supertall yet.

The iconic feature of this development would be the construction of an 118-storey tower, now named PNB 118 Tower. The final height of this skyscraper is still not confirmed but it is now fixed to be between 600 metres to 650 metres. Some sources said 610 metres or 630 metres while some even said it would be 644 metres tall which would make it even taller than the Shanghai Tower, the current world’s second tallest building. No matter what the final height is, this PNB118 Tower would still easily be the country’s new tallest building as well as one of top five world’s tallest buildings once it is completed. And it is announced recently that it is expected to be completed in 2024. Years ago, it is planned for completion by 2020 to coincide with Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) when the country would become a developed nation by year 2020. However, the project faced delay and it’s getting back on track now. It is now officially under construction.

The tower is designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, an architecture office based in Melbourne, Australia which is previously famous for designing Eureka Tower in Melbourne. The design is also not that well received as many people commented that it is too simple, too glassy and do not possess timeless elegance like what Petronas Twin Towers achieved. I agreed to these opinions too. However, after its official rendering and an animation clip of the tower are out recently, some changed their mind and started to like the design. I’m one of them, but I still think that the design needs further improvement especially on its treatment to the top where it meets the spire. The spire is also a bit too long and out of proportion in comparison to the building form and volume. I knew it is just there to increase a substantial height for the building just to have it to be placed higher in the list of world’s tallest buildings later on.

So, here below are some new (latest) renderings, plan view and models’ images of the PNB118 Tower and also an animation clip for it by RSP Architects, the local design consultant for this project.

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Looking forward to see this new skyscraper dominating the skyline of Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible. Hmm…I suddenly changed my mind and think that KL needs a new supertall now since Petronas Twin Towers have been here for almost two decades already. However, it is undeniable that the twin towers are still elegant and remain as icon of the country forever.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Current KL: 5 tallest buildings completed, 5 tallest buildings under construction, and 5 tallest buildings proposed in the city.


My city, Kuala Lumpur is considered slow in terms of construction boom compared to many cities in China or even in our neighbouring South East Asian countries. However, there are several (actually multiple) interesting skyscraper projects on-going (either in construction stage or still in proposal phase) in the city currently that deserve some attention worldwide.

Before I proceed, do you know that building above 150 metres high is classified as a tall skyscraper. Building above 300 metres is then called supertall skyscraper while megatall skyscraper refers to building beyond 600 metres high (currently only three buildings in the world are megatalls; Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower and Mecca Royal Clock Tower). Based on data available from Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Kuala Lumpur has about nearly 50 tall skyscrapers (above 150 metres high) with 3 of them being supertalls (Petronas Twin Towers as two and Telekom Tower). Kindly take note that KL Tower (421 metres high) is a telecommunication tower and hence, not to be included.

The present five tallest buildings in the city are (as of 2016):

1. Petronas Twin Tower 1 (452 metres, 88 floors)

2. Petronas Twin Tower 2 (452 metres, 88 floors)

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3. Telekom Tower (310 metres, 55 floors)

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4. Ilham Tower (274 metres, 64 floors)

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5. Petronas Tower 3 (267 metres, 60 floors)

The five tallest buildings in the city are all beyond 250 metres mark. Wonderful. KL can be considered home to plenty of skyscrapers eventhough we still lose out to bigger cities like Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Dubai, etc.

The five tallest buildings currently under construction in the city are (as of 2016):

1. KL118 Tower (644 metres, 118 floors, to be completed in 2020).

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2. Fairmont Kuala Lumpur Tower 1 (370 metres, 78 floors, to be completed in 2019). (Surprised of very lack of real data of this project despite it is already under-construction now)

3. Four Seasons Place (343 metres, 65 floors, to be completed in 2018).

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4. Fairmont Kuala Lumpur Tower 2 (278 metres, 71 floors, to be completed in 2018).

5. Banyan Tree Signatures (240 metres, 55 floors, to be completed in 2016, that’s this year!).

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Glad that there are still many skyscraper projects under construction in the city despite the poor economic situation especially the current crisis in the country. Wishing for these buildings above to be finished quick.

The five tallest buildings proposed in the city are (as of 2016):

1. Tradewinds Square Tower A (608 – 775 metres, 110 – 150 floors). (Three unconfirmed designs shown below)

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Tradewinds Square

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I personally prefer the first design; clean, simple yet elegant. The second and the third designs are average looking only.

2. Platinum Tower / TRX Signature Tower (430 metres, 90 floors). (Three unconfirmed designs shown below)

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The first design looks like a shorter version of Shanghai Tower. Second one looks quite good while the third one charms from its crown treatment. Hard to choose if you ask me.

3. Oxley Tower 1 (380 metres, 83 floors).

4. Oxley Tower 2 (380 metres, 83 floors).

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5. Tradewinds Square Tower B (288 metres, 61 floors).

Hoping to see at least some of the proposals above get to be materialized very soon. But like I said earlier, the economic downturn in our country currently is not looking good to ‘breath life’ into these amazing proposals. If most of these projects (under-construction or under proposal) are to be really completed in the next five or ten years, then Kuala Lumpur would become a much denser city with a more stunning skyline to enjoy in near future. I’m looking forward to that!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

6 skyscrapers (beyond 400m high) that have architecturally topped-out and ready to climb to the ranking of the world’s tallest buildings.


Many buildings constructed nowadays are mostly very high due to the worldwide interest on building tall as the trend helps to maximize the limited land space available especially in dense and highly-populated cities. However, till now, there are still not many buildings that cross the 400-metres mark in height. Till now, there is only about 18 buildings across the world that managed to cross that milestone. However, by next year, we would see at least 6 additional skyscrapers which would accomplish that too and be part of the official ranking of the world’s tallest completed buildings.

This means that these 6 buildings which are still under construction now have had already topped-out architecturally. Topped out means that the building has reached its final height but are still not completed in construction yet. These are the 6 buildings:

Ping An Finance Center, 599 metres, 115 floors, Shenzhen, China.

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Goldin Finance 117, 596.5 metres, 128 floors, Tianjin, China.

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Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, 530 metres, 111 floors, Guangzhou, China.

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Wuhan Center Tower, 438 metres, 88 floors, Wuhan, China.

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Marina 101, 426.5 metres, 101 floors, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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432 Park Avenue, 425.5 metres, 85 floors, New York City, United States of America.

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These extremely tall buildings are all nearing completion. Out of the 6 buildings mentioned above, the first four tallest are all in China. China is in full force now not only in their emerging global power in economy but also in constructing supertall buildings. Few years later, the country is definitely going to dominate the world’s tallest list (in fact, now, they already did). China is big and we observed many emerging cities like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Nanjing and Chongqing building skyscrapers aside from their already popular massive urban centres like Hong Kong and Shanghai.

(Images in this post are from forum webpages in skyscrapercity.com)

Supertall constructions around the world now that are nearing completion (Update – April 2015)


It’s been quite some time since I touched on the topic of skyscrapers in my blog here. My interest in skyscrapers never fades after all the years. While the completed skyscrapers look amazing and stands tall as a symbol of human’s present achievement, I particularly set my eyes on those under-construction as these would be mostly much taller, more record-breaking and would push beyond human’s limitation to reach to the sky in near future. Here below are some (not all) of the major supertall constructions under-going across the world that are nearing respective completion (except the last one, no.9):

1. 432 Park Avenue, New York City, USA.

425.5 metres tall, 88 floors, expected to be completed this year (2015), will be New York City’s second tallest building once completed, currently topped-out as the world’s tallest residential building. Architect: Rafael Vinoly Architects.

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2. Ping An International Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China.

660 metres tall, 115 floors, expected to be completed next year (2016), will be China’s tallest and world’s second tallest building once completed. Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

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3. CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China.

530 metres tall, 111 floors, expected to be completed next year (2016), currently topped-out. Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

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4. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China.

632 metres, 128 floors, expected to be completed this year (2015), currently topped out as China’s tallest building and also world’s second tallest building. Architect: Gensler.

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5. Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea.

555.7 metres tall, 123 floors, expected to be completed next year (2016), will be South Korea’s tallest building once completed. Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

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6. Goldin Finance 117 Tower, Tianjin, China.

597 metres tall, 128 floors, expected to be completed next year (2016). Architect: P & T Group.

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7. World One, Mumbai, India.

442 metres tall, 117 floors, expected to be completed next year (2016). Will be India’s tallest building once completed. Architect: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

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8. Wuhan Center Tower, Wuhan, China.

438 metres tall, 88 floors, expected to be completed next year (2016). Architect: ECADI.

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9. Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

1000+ metres tall (final height not revealed yet), 167 floors, expected to be completed in 2018. Will be the world’s tallest building (as well as man-made structure) once completed, taking the title from Burj Khalifa at 828 metres. Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

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It feels so great seeing these buildings rising up taller and taller. Now, we are on our mark to go beyond 1 kilometre in height of building. What’s next? 1.5km? 2km? Possible. But is that feasible currently?

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

More details revealed for the mysterious KL118 Tower


After giving my attention on several supertall skyscrapers under construction in China in my previous blog post, it’s time to shift back the focus to one supertall also currently undergoing construction back in my home city, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the controversial KL118 Tower. Why I said it is controversial? Because the project is receiving much more criticism than praise from the citizens regarding the need of the city for another supertall building. People also questioned that the budget (over RM 5 billion) allocated for it may be of better use in other areas. It is also criticized for its location as the site of the project is in the vicinity of many heritage buildings (Petaling Street, Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Negara, Methodist Boys School, Victoria Institution, etc) and the tower and its surrounding proposed complex development will leaves huge impact and further heavy traffic to the area.

Whatever the criticisms are, the project is given the nod to proceed but not much details are publicized about the tower since then. The KL118 Tower makes up part of a complex of development known as Warisan Merdeka (Heritage Independence) development that also includes residential towers, shopping mall, etc. The tower itself has 118 floors, and will easily surpass Petronas Twin Towers (452 metres high) as the tallest building in Malaysia. There has been speculations till now over the final height of the tower. Previously, it is tipped to be slightly over 500 metres. Then, the height is revised to allow the building to go taller without adding more floors by amending the design of the spire, the finishing crown to the skyscraper.

So, what’s the height it would be? Based on the elevations or sections drawings available (leaked online), the building will be slightly over 600 metres. The height indicated from the ground floor is at about 75 metres till the top showing 715 metres. Hence, after the reduction, the building will reach full height of 640 metres. However, I think the structure / antenna above the spire will not be counted as the architectural height of the building. Hence, the final height of the tower would be about 610 metres. And there is a feeling in me that I think the tower will be of 615.7 metres (2020 feet high) in the end, to coincide with Wawasan (Vision) 2020; the year 2020 of which we targeted to achieve the high-income / developed nation status for Malaysia. It is also the year the tower would be opened to the public after its estimated completion in 2019.

Official renderings of KL118 Tower:

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3D works of KL118 Tower by other parties:

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 (Renderings by Atifnadzir, http://www.skyscrapercity.com

Scale comparison of KL118 Tower (third from left) with other built supertall skyscrapers in the world. Petronas Twin Towers are on the most right:

 

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Architectural drawings (plan, sections & elevations) of KL118 Tower. Here you can see quite clearly how the spire looks like, and the observation and viewing sky decks occupy four floors of the tower. And there’s a restaurant on level 113! :

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Current site condition ( 2014 – 2019, now still construction at foundation and base level, long way to go):

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When completed, it will be one of the top ten tallest buildings in the world (probably in 6th or 7th place). Now, after seeing more images / renderings of the tower, what is your thought on its design which is obviously based on diamond. KL118 Tower (I think the name will change later on when it is opened) is designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, an Australian architectural firm. It’s a nice, sleek and futuristic design, but I hope that they can do more on its elevations and its top part which is a bit boring. It is not as appealing or as impressive if compared to Petronas Twin Towers besides than its height. Still, KL118 Tower would be a good addition to the skyline of KL.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)