Saturday, May 10, 2008
KOMTAR (Malay: Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak), or more accurately KOMTAR Tower (Menara KOMTAR in Malay) is Penang's tallest building and the sixth tallest building in Malaysia. It is located in the heart of George Town. When the skyscraper topped out it was the tallest building in Asia, by the time construction was completed it had however been surpassed by Seoul's Korean Life Insurance Building (KLI 63 Building). The 65-storey tower is a 12-sided geometric block, 760ft (232m) tall, sitting atop a 4-storey podium. The complex comprises office and retail commercial space as well as public and recreational facilities. It was designed by Architects Team 3 (AT3) of Singapore.
KOMTAR occupies an 11-hectare site and is the single most ambitious urban renewal project undertaken by Penang Development Corporation, the development arm of the Penang state government. The master plan is divided into five phases for implementation. The complex is named in honour of the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, the late Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein. The first piling of the building's phase one was done by Tun Razak himself on 1 January 1974. Part of the complex's first phase podium block was completed in 1978.
Near the tower is KOMTAR Complex, Penang's oldest shopping mall, opened in 1989. KOMTAR Complex initially had an anchor tenant in the Parkson departmental store, but that closed in 2005. The Penang Government plans to modernise the complex; work is scheduled to start in December 2007 and to be completed after one year.