Merdeka 118: Designing the World’s Second-Tallest Building

Session: Opening Plenary - Searching for Excellence: Are Our Towers Good Enough?

Karl FenderProject image

Karl Fender
Founding Partner, Fender Katsalidis
Melbourne

The Merdeka 118, Kuala Lumpur, at 679 meters, is the world's second-tallest building, constructed on the site of a historic stadium compound, on a site with multiple grade changes and entrances. With this distinction came an array of challenges, from structural engineering to designing a vertical transportation system that could effectively serve the variety of programming across its 118 levels – including more than 150,000 square meters of office space, 92,000 square meters of retail space, an observation deck, a Park Hyatt luxury hotel, and 1.6 hectares of greenery. Hear from the architect charged with steering an iconic design and a deeply integrated urban project, which was constructed over the course of 8 years, including the movement control orders in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.