Merdeka 118: World’s second tallest building topped in Malaysia

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

The tip of a 118-story skyscraper already sits 2,227 feet above the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Set to become the world’s second tallest building upon completion next year, Merdeka 118 is now 2,073 feet taller than China’s Shanghai Tower and just behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

At a ceremony marking the completion of the spire on Tuesday, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob described the project as an “iconic tower for the future.”

“This is not just a huge achievement in the field of engineering,” said Mr told reporters. “But it also further strengthens Malaysia’s position as a modern and developed country.”
The digital rendering shows what the tower will look like upon completion in late 2022.

The digital rendering shows what the tower will look like upon completion in late 2022. Credit: Fender Katsalidis

Consisting of 3.1 million square feet of floor space, more than half of which will be provided as offices, the tower will also house a shopping mall, mosque, Park Hyatt hotel and high observatory. Southeast Asia best. The more than four-acre site will also feature public spaces and a park on the ground floor.

Set in a historic area of ​​Kuala Lumpur, the skyscraper overlooks Merdeka Stadium, where former Tunku leader Abdul Rahman declared Malaysian independence in 1957. Ismail Sabri, who was appointed prime minister in August, said on Tuesday that the sculptural design “reflects the image” of Rahman famously raising his hand shouting “merdeka!” (Malay for “independence!”) more than six decades ago.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (centre) at the ceremony marking the completion of the spire of the tower.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (centre) at the ceremony marking the completion of the spire of the tower. Credit: Syaiful Redzuan / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Fender Katsalidis, the Australian architect behind the project, said the triangular glass planes on the building’s facade were inspired by patterns found in Malaysian arts and crafts. The design also “symbolizes (represents) the rich cultural mix that defines the country’s people,” the company said in a press release.

In a statement, one of the company’s founding partners, Karl Fender, added that the building was designed to enrich “the social energy and cultural fabric of the city.”

“In addition, the achievement of creating the second tallest building in the world celebrates the years of planning, problem-solving, collaboration and human effort required to realize such a complex building. this,” he said. “Achieving this height milestone is a welcome bonus.”

Related Video: A Brief History of the World’s Tallest Buildings

Announced in 2010, the project broke ground five years ago, although concerns voiced by several local heritage campaigners about the impact it could have on the historic neighborhood.
Although the building is expected to open this year, work was temporarily halted in March 2020 when the Malaysian government introduced strict lockdown measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Kuala Lumpur’s skyline has been transformed by skyscrapers in recent decades, and the Malaysian capital is now The 13th tallest city in the world, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The 1,483-foot Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, when they were surpassed by Taiwan’s Taipei 101.
In 2019, the 106-story Exchange 106 became the tallest skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur – and Southeast Asia – then romance in the financial controversy 1MDB brought down the country’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, on criminal charges including money laundering and abuse of power.


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