Like many rising Asian cities, Kuala Lumpur’s skyscrapers have helped articulate the city’s character and ambitions. Anchored by the crown jewel – the Petronas Twin Tower – KL’s skyline has continued changing in the past decade as the city grows.
Ranked number 17 in Emporis’ annual best skyline list, Kuala Lumpur has 1,722 tall buildings (12 storeys and above) within its 243 square kilometres. While much smaller in scale compared to Hong Kong and Singapore, the city has been described as one of the most architecturally adventurous cities in the world.
While the classics – Hijaz Kasturi’s Telekom Tower, the drum-inspired Tabung Haji building and the Cesar Peli’s KLCC - continue to be revered, many later structures are making their mark.
The Troika complex and Ilham Baru (IB) Tower on Jalan Binjai are both designed by Foster + Partners, the same firm which designed London’s the Gherkin and New York’s new World Trade Centre.
The award winning Troika, KL’s tallest residential structure, is immediately recognisable for its triple towers and twisting geometric design. The towers are made up of stacked rotating blocks that give each unit the best view, supported by slender sheer walls that protrude upwards like a fantasy wartime headgear. The hanging balcony design also provides shade for lower units.
The IB Tower, meanwhile, is one of the most eye-catching new structures in the city centre. Its dark, rich façade with stainless steel claddings, diamond-shaped base and triangulated glass panels, make a bold assertion even among its impressive neighbours.
More importantly, the commercial tower has impressive green cred. IB has integrated sun-shading louvered fins as a cooling device, and a portion of an upper section of the tower is cut-in to make way for outdoor sky decks. It also has daylight glare control, indoor air quality sensors, carpark CO2 monitor system, group lighting controls as well as rainwater harvesting system.
The Intermark on Jalan Ampang- Jalan Tun Razak intersection is an imposing structure that marks the entrance to the KL CBD. A mixed development with a mall, a hotel and office blocks, the Intermark is a rejuvenation project of the old Empire Tower, City Square, Crown Princess Hotel and Plaza Ampang. The Intermark's boxy design has two tall sleek towers and a retail podium. The Vista, its office component, is one of the tallest towers in KL.
Photo credits: Foster + Partners