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18 Amazing Facts About The PNB 118

Apart from China and the United Arab Emirates, there’s another country that sees it tall.

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, will soon be home to one of the most amazing skyscrapers and one of the tallest buildings in the world.

In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about the PNB 118.

1. It’s sometimes referred to with another name

The skyscraper is also sometimes referred to as the “Warisan Merdeka Tower” or simply “Merdeka PNB 118.” Warisan means “patrimony” or “heritage” in the Malay language and “Merdeka” is a reference to freedom and independence.

The word Merdeka comes from the Sanskrit “maharddhika” which means “rich or prosperous.” The Dutch corrupted this word to “Mardijkers” in their colonial period and referred to slaves.

Merdeka eventually became a battle-cry word for freedom, and the Malaysian version of “Independence Day” is called “Hari Merdeka.” The tower’s alternative name is “The Warisan Merdeka Tower,” which has been derived from these two terms.

Hari Merdeka in Malaysia

2. It won’t be the tallest building in the world

With a total height of 644 meters (2,113 ft) upon completion, the PNB 118 won’t be the tallest building in the world.

The Burj Khalifa, which is already completed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is still taller with a height of 828 meters (2,717 ft), and the Jeddah Tower (which is also under construction at the moment) will even surpass that at a height of over 1,000 meters (3,281 ft)!

facts about jeddah tower
The Jeddah Tower will surpass all other skyscrapers in the world upon completion.

3. Can you guess how many floors it will have?

We assume you do!

Art-Facts Youtube Channel

The PNB will have a total of 118 floors, which excludes the 5 floors that will be located below the ground.

4. It will still hold some impressive records

Even though the tower will never be considered to be the tallest skyscraper in the world, it will still hold some amazing records:

  • It will be the tallest building in Malaysia.
  • It will also be the tallest skyscraper in South-East Asia.
  • It will be the 5th building in the world based on floor count (for a while).
  • The PNB 118 will be the 2nd tallest building in the world (for a while).

We do want to mention that there are several skyscrapers, both proposed and already under construction, that will eventually surpass the PNB 118.

facts about the PNB 118
The PNB 118 in February 2020 / Renek78 /

5. Where is the PNB 118 located?

The tower is located directly south-east of the historical center of Kuala Lumpur on a hill called “Petaling Hill.”

The area used to be a park named “Merdeka Park” which was transformed into an open-air parking lot located just east of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.

Merdeka Tower facts
Aerial view of the Merdeka Tower under construction / Source

6. There are multiple sports stadiums in the area

Most of the landmarks in the area include sports stadiums, such as the Merdeka Stadium, the National Stadium (also known as the Negara Stadium), and the Chin Woo Stadium.

People renting space in the PNB 118 won’t have to pay a ticket to watch a soccer/football game that’s for sure!

Construction site of the PNB 118
The PNB 118 COnstruction site in 2016 / 2O /

7. Hopefully, they won’t make this mistake

Just north of the construction site of the Merdeka Tower, we can find the Plaza Rakyat, another skyscraper under construction.

The problem with the plaza Rakyat, a 79-floor and 382 meters (1,253 ft) tall skyscraper under construction, is that the construction works have been paused.

And not just recently, since 1998!

The reason was the 1997 Asian financial crisis which caused the developer to run into financial difficulties. Multiple revival efforts have been unsuccessful until today.

The Abandoned Plaza Rakyat
The Abandoned Plaza Rakyat / Two hundred percent /

8. Who owns the PNB 118

We are positive that the Merdeka Tower won’t suffer the faith as the Plaza Rakyat though because it’s owned by Permodalan Nasional Berhad, a government-owned investment fund.

It’s one of the largest fund management companies in Malaysia and was established on 17 March 1978.

9. The building has a reputable engineer

The structural engineer of the PNB 118 is Leslie E. Robertson, an American engineer who has been in the business since 1952.

he was involved in numerous famous projects such as the World Trade Center, the Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong.

world financial center shanghai
The World Financial Center in Shanghai had Leslie E. Robertson as engineer / Source

10. The main architect is Australian

The main architect of the PNB 118 Tower is the Australian architect firm “Fender Katsalidis Architects.”

They are quite experienced with supertall skyscrapers as they have completed at least 2 notable projects in Melbourne, Australia.

One is the Eureka Tower, which is at the moment with a height of 297.3 m (975 ft) the 22nd tallest residential building in the world (at the moment of writing). The other one “Australia 108” is a 317 meters (1,040 ft) tall skyscraper with 100 floors.

Australia 108 under construction
Australia 108 under construction / Source

11. Construction of the PNB 118 Tower started in 2014

6 companies were shortlisted to be awarded the contract of the Merdeka Tower, and it was eventually the South Korean company Samsung C&T and UEM Group Bhd. that won it.

Pintaras Geotechnics Sdn Bhd. shortly after started the piling and foundation work so construction of the tower could commence in 2014.

PNB 118 Construction in 2018
PNB 118 Construction in 2018 / Renek78 /

12. It’s a very expensive building

The value of the contract that the South Korean company won is about RM 3.4 billion, which is the equivalent of about USD 770 million!

One of the most interesting facts about the PNB 118 is that the South Korean contractor also built the Burj Khalifa in Dubai!

13. How will the Merdeka Tower be used?

100 of the 118 will consist of rentable space. This includes 83 floors of office spaces, 12 floors of hotel rooms, 5 floors of hotel residences, and a shopping mall.

The non-rentable floors are for elevators, maintenance floors, safety floors, and a parking lot that can fit 8,500 cars.

As for the office space, companies will need to hurry up or be put on a never-ending waiting list such as in the Rockefeller Center in New York! 60 of the 83 floors reserved for office spaces will be used by the developer PNB itself.

14. A hotel will open its doors in the Merdeka Tower

On February 27, 2018, the news was announced that Park Hyatt would open up a hotel in the Merdeka Tower.

The Park Hyatt hotel in Kuala Lumpur will occupy the top 17 floors of the building and consists of 232 rooms including 28 suites and 30 apartments.

PNB 118 in 2020
The tower in 2020 / Renek78 /

15. The design has a deeper meaning

The design of the PNB 118 has a deeper meaning for Malaysia. Since Merdeka refers to independence, the design is supposed to resemble the raised hand of Tunku Abdul Raman as he declared independence at the Merdeka Stadium which is located just next to the tower.

The mixture of diamond-shaped designs is supposed to resemble the diversity of Malaysians in general.

Merdeka Tower in Kuala Lumpur

16. The tower will be well connected

The tower is located just next to Chinatown and the “Old Town” of Kuala Lumpur, which is just a few 100 meters away.

On top of that, it will also have access to the brand new MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line, which was excavated underneath the southern end of Kuala Lumpur’s historical center.

PNB Tower railway
The tower will be connected to the railway / Sirap /

17. When will the PNB 118 Tower be completed?

Some estimates predict that the tower will open its doors as early as 2021. This is ahead of the earlier estimates which scheduled the tower to open in 2024.

Either way, it’s clear that upon completion, the skyline of Kuala Lumpur will never look the same again!

Kuala Lumpur skyline

18. Are there more towers to come?

We mentioned that they see it tall right in Malaysia?

Well, there may be a triple-tower project on its way that will surpass the PNB 118 in height and floor count.

The owners of the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur are planning to build a complex named “Tower M” and is supposed to have 27 floors more than the Merdeka 118 Tower!

It’s still early as the developers aim to have this project completed in a 10-15 year timeframe.

Tower M is supposed to surpass the PNB 118 Tower and the Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Tower M is supposed to surpass the PNB 118 Tower and the Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur.

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