Petronas Towers

sights / Architecture

Lonely Planet review

The epitomy of contemporary KL are these shimmering stainless steel–clad towers, the headquarters of the national oil and gas company Petronas. Resembling twin silver rockets plucked from an episode of Flash Gordon, they are the perfect allegory for the meteoric rise of the city from tin miners' hovel to 21st-century metropolis.

Opened in 1998, the 88-storey twin towers are nearly 452m tall, making them the seventh-highest built structures in the world (as of 2010). Designed by Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli, the twin towers' floor plan is based on an eight-sided star that echoes arabesque patterns. Islamic influences are also evident in each tower's five tiers – representing the five pillars of Islam – and in the 63m masts that crown them, calling to mind the minarets of a mosque and the Star of Islam.