The world’s second-highest building is no longer in Shanghai. Instead, it is in Malaysia. The Merdeka 118 rises 678.9 meters above the Kuala Lumpur Skyline.
The Merdeka 118 is designed by Australia’s Fender Katsalidis. The credit of Australia’s 108 tower also falls to the same man. The tower has a peculiar yet eye-catching design, with its exterior inspired by patterns from Malaysian arts and crafts. It is made up of a sculptural arrangement of triangular glass sections. Although the world we live in now has gotten a liking for skyscrapers, and they are being constructed around the globe, however, the ones that shake up the top 5 list are a rarity.
If the spire of the Merdeka 118 is taken away, it stands at 644 m tall. Therefore, it would still be comfortably poised to become the world’s second-tallest building overtaking Shanghai’s megatall by 12 ms. However, the status of this building will remain unofficial until it is completed and open for business because it is only then that the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat rankings will recognize it. Therefore, we will have to wait till late 2022 for the building to take its rightful place as the world’s second tallest building after Burj Khalifa (828 ms).
The tower will have an interior space of roughly 288,000 sq m (3.1 million sq ft). This would be spread across 118 floors and divided into office space, hotel space, retail space, an observation point, and luxury apartments. Also, it is worth noting that the Merdeka 118 is situated within a large car-free public space designed by landscape architect Sasaki which includes greenery and water features.
“We feel incredibly proud to have contributed to the creation of this building and its host of community assets which enrich one of the most culturally significant sites in Malaysia,” says Karl Fender, founding partner of Fender Katsalidis.
“First and foremost, our priority was to respect this site and harness every opportunity to create a tower that enriched 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 endeavour required to realize a building of this complexity. Achieving this height milestone is a welcome bonus.”