THE WORLD'S TALLEST BUILDING
In a breath-stopping scene in the blockbuster movie Entrapment, actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery clamber between two towers, 1,000 feet above the ground. That scene was fantasy, but it was filmed at what is, in real life, the tallest building in the world: the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
These twin towers, which opened in early 1997, are a reflection of both Asian and Western influences. Architect Cesar Pelli took his inspiration from geometric shapes in Islamic art, and the scalloped faade is reminiscent of lace -- albeit lace made from glass and steel. It took 36,910 tons of steel to build the Petronas Towers. The buildings have 32,000 windows between them; it takes window washers an entire month to wash each tower just once!
Linked by a bridge at the 41st and 42nd floors, the Petronas Towers rise 1,483 feet off the ground, but they are only 88 stories. Thus though they squeak past the Sears Tower in Chicago by 33 feet, the Sears Tower can still claim the highest occupied floor (110 stories). The World Trade Center, which was built in the early 1970s, was the world's tallest only briefly--until the Sears Tower was erected in 1973. New York loyalists insisted, however, that when the Trade Center's antenna was included in the measurement, it still retained its world's-tallest status. Now, of course, that's a moot point, and all other such wrangling should halt for some time if the Center of India Tower planned for Katangi, India, goes up as planned in 2008. It will be 2,222 feet tall.
>Experience the festivities at the Petronas Towers' grand opening in 1999.
>Fun facts about the Petronas Towers.